During the holidays, military veterans often face various challenges. Some of these include homelessness and unemployment. Others, such as those with physical handicaps, may experience issues with their relationships with others or themselves. Regardless of whether or not you have served, there are still ways that you can help.
You can give monetary gifts, time and skills, or items. Even small contributions can make a massive difference in the lives of a veteran or their loved ones.
Adopt a Military Family
A report released by the Center for Progress revealed that over one in five military families is struggling financially. This situation, which affects 3.9 million veterans, makes it hard for them to provide for their families on Christmases.
Through organizations such as Soldier’s Angels, people can connect with military families in need during the holiday season. Once you have been accepted as a sponsor of a family, you can then contact them to find out what their needs are.
As a sponsor, you can provide monetary gifts such as food cards, which can be worth up to $100. You can also purchase gifts for the children of the family, who are either living in the household or are still in high school.
Donate Your Airline Miles
When you can’t give time to help others, frequent flyer miles can be a great way to support military veterans. You can use these miles to help reunite the families of those treated at a Veterans Affairs facility.
Through the Fisher House Foundation, a non-profit organization that houses military families and veterans. It also accepts frequent flyer donations. Through its Hero Miles program, the organization provides round-trip airfare for wounded, sick, or injured veterans and their families to visit medical facilities.
Go to Your Local VA Hospital
Many veterans spend time with their loved ones in VA hospitals during the holidays. It can be very difficult to maintain a positive relationship with one’s loved ones, and it can lead to depression. If you can’t contribute to the cause, you can still help by volunteering your time.
You can make a huge difference in the lives of these individuals by visiting their local VA hospital and getting to know them. Doing so can help them feel that they are not alone. You can also ask the facility if it allows volunteers to visit during the holiday season.
Support Vets with PTSD
During the holidays, it can be very challenging for veterans who have PTSD to talk about their concerns or their needs. Being available and supportive can help these individuals feel they have someone to help them.
You can also research the various treatments and symptoms of PTSD to help your loved one understand what it’s like to experience this condition. Having a support network can help a person who has been through trauma.
Sponsor a Toy Drive or Fundraiser
Many communities are struggling with the needs of veteran families. You can help these individuals by holding a toy drive or organizing a fundraiser for a local organization.
You can also join an organization such as Operation Homefront, which has a holiday toy drive. Through their program, supporters can make donations or volunteer to deliver toys to the needy.