Three Ways Anyone Can Afford to Give Back to Our Troops

Charitable donation

Young kids are writing letters to support our troops. “Thank you for protecting our country. Must be pretty brave joining the military. They say a man looks handsome in uniform,” one such letter begins. “My name is Giselle. I’m in 8th grade. I love listening to music and being lazy. My favorite food is chicken wings.”

Our children and their heartfelt — and often funny — letters are on the right track. Contributions and donations for military families do not have to expensive. It is more than possible to give back to active military and veterans, without breaking the bank. Here are some simple — and cheap — ideas:

Donate From Home

If you are tight on money and time, you can still donate clothes to support our troops. Several organizations pick up clothing donations — giving you the opportunity to donate without leaving the comforts of home. (Some charities pick up donations from convenient, communal locations, too.)

Some Things Help More Than Money

Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t all about money. Americans can support military families be giving back in relatively simple ways, such as babysitting or offering to help with errands. Don’t wait for military husbands and wives to ask. A lot of people take pride in being self-sufficient and may be embarrassed — or flat-out unwilling — to admit that they could use a hand. Get around that with creative projects — such as custom coupons. Draw up coupons good for “one hour of babysitting” or “two hours of lawn mowing.” Gift the coupons on special occasions, such as birthdays or holidays.

Get Everyone In On It

Take the brunt of expenses and responsibilities off your shoulders by getting friends, family, and neighbors involved. Everyone can pitch in to host a group activity or event — such as a potluck dinner or pancake breakfast — benefiting soldiers and/or veterans. Making it a group effort keeps expenses low, while potentially raising hundreds for active military.

Give back to our troops without breaking the bank. Contribute to charities that pick up clothing donations, offer help babysitting or around the house, or bring everyone together to host a relatively inexpensive event benefiting soldiers and veterans.