Many veterans often face enormous challenges when they return home. They may be dealing with permanent injuries, PTSD, or changes in their families. As they re-enter civilian life, we can show our appreciation by donating our time or money to help.
Operation Gratitude is a nation-wide nonprofit dedicated to providing people across our country with opportunities for hands-on volunteerism to say ‘thank you’ to our Military, Veterans, and First Responders. Volunteers write letters and cards to deployed troops, craft paracord bracelets, or organize collection drives. Operation Gratitude also provides homemade hats and scarves to our troops from volunteers throughout the U.S. They also send packages to veterans, police and fire departments.
You can help by driving our nation’s heroes to their medical appointments at their local VA hospital so that they never go without the treatments they need. It’s all part of the DAV Transportation Network, administered by our Hospital Service Coordinators at VA medical facilities around the country. Or you can volunteer with the Local Veterans Assistance Program. Whether it’s grocery shopping or running errands for veterans in your community, doing yard work or painting a veteran’s home, there’s a need you can help fulfill.
The nonprofit organization flies veterans to Washington for free so that they can visit memorials built in their honor. Top priority is given to World War II survivors, along with veterans who may be terminally ill. You can volunteer to escort the vets on the flight or greet them at airport departures and arrivals.
The Compassionate Contact Corps is a virtual social prescription program where trained volunteers are matched with Veterans that are experiencing loneliness or are socially isolated. The volunteer typically calls the Veteran weekly for 15–60 minutes to provide socialization and companionship via phone or video calls. You can also volunteer to drive vets to their appointments or to the supermarket. Your company could help provide services to veterans or help train them to re-enter the workforce.
Unfortunately, veterans have a higher rate of homelessness than the general population. Supporting a veteran to find, fund, or maintain residence can have a great impact on their life. Several organizations modify or build homes for veterans such as https://homesforveterans.us or https://www.hfotusa.org. These charities literally make a world of difference in the lives they touch.
The opportunities to help veterans are endless. In only a short amount of time, you can make an impact by helping around their home, volunteering with organizations or spending time with one of our nation’s heroes.
Originally published at https://alexisazria.org on August 31, 2022.