Memorial Day is a special day when we remember troops who lost their lives in service to the United States. A number of organizations work all year to provide for the families of lost soldiers and veterans. During this time of year, donations are especially important, as it helps coordinate activities and causes for the summer months. This Memorial Day, try one of these options to give back and make a difference.
Volunteer Your Time
Giving of your time is one of the best ways to give back not only on Memorial Day, but all year long. Many charitable organizations in your local area are focused on veterans and families of fallen service members, and they are always in need of volunteers. Whether you assist in planning a parade, serve food in a homeless shelter for veterans, or find another way that you can help out, volunteering is a great way to get involved and make a different on Memorial Day.
Using a service like VolunteerMatch, you can find organizations in your area that do great work to support veterans and reach out to become a volunteer.
Pay Respects at the Cemetery
Several military cemeteries are located around the country where you can go and pay respect to service men and women who have fallen. Your town may even have a section of the local cemetery designated for members of the military.
While visiting, you can also bring items along to show your respect. Many people bring flower arrangements to adorn the grave sites, while others bring small flags to plant throughout the cemetery. Seeing their late family member’s grave adorned with flowers and flags can bring a smile to those who were left behind.
Create and Send Care Packages
Sending care packages for those still engaged in military service, either at home or abroad, can make a huge difference in raising their spirits. They are often separated from their family for long periods of time, and receiving mail – even from a stranger – can brighten their day.
To make your care packages extra special, you may want to solicit help and pool together donations to purchase the items you need to include. Not only can you directly participate in helping a soldier, but you can get others in your community involved, too.
Send Letters or Videos Overseas
Care packages for current service members are wonderful, but they also enjoy receiving simple letters in the mail. Do some research to find addresses of military members who are overseas, and then organize a letter-writing campaign with students in a local school.
Want to make something even more special? Get a group of people together to make a video for those soldiers who are away from home, thanking them for their service. This grand gesture will go a very long way to boost their morale. This is particularly meaningful if the people included in the video are friends or family members of those who are serving.
Visit Soldiers at the VA Hospital
Going to visit soldiers who are in the VA hospital not only helps them feel special and remembered, but also demonstrates that you care.
Whether you bring gifts or just spend some quality time with them and their families, you will make their recovery process less taxing.
Be There for Those Left Behind
Know someone in your community who lost a friend or family member who served in the military? They also need extra care during this trying time. Stop by their house for a visit, or bring them flowers or a casserole. You could even send a card in the mail. Find a way to let them know they were on your mind.
Just being there for friends and families who have experienced the loss of a fallen soldier makes a difference. People appreciate knowing someone is thinking about them and the people in their lives who served.
Remember to Pray or Send Positive Thoughts
Take a moment to say a prayer for the brave and honorable men and women that are actively serving, those patriots who are recovering, or the families who are coping with the uncertainty of their loved ones. Your prayers and positive thoughts for their protection, strength, guidance and comfort will be greatly appreciated by our heroes.
Use Online Giving to Make a Monetary Donation
If you don’t have time to volunteer, visit a cemetery, or put together any of the other projects on this list, you do have another option to support military members, veterans, and their families: make a donation.
Giving doesn’t need to take much time out of your day, particularly if you use an online giving method. In the past, donating to a charity required attending fundraisers, filling out pledge cards, or putting money in a donation bin. But now, online giving methods use the Internet and smartphones to make the process much more streamlined.
Givelify, for example, is a free smartphone app that makes online giving faster and more effortless than ever. It enables you to give from anywhere in the world. Is your charity of choice a Givelify member? All you have to do is search for them in the online giving app and voila – you can give in just three taps.
Not sure which organization to give to, and looking for options? Simply pull up the Nearby feature on Givelify and find a member charity near your current location.