The veterans of the military have given our nation strength, stability and peace of mind. They have risked their lives and their health for the country. Those returning to civilian life after their service often come home with battered bodies, depressed minds and a multitude of issues. Many feel it is our duty to help these men and women who have sacrificed much. Donating to veterans and veteran causes is a worthy endeavor.
Contact your local veteran group(s) to pinpoint the needs in your area. Call your closest American Legion post to get started gathering information.
Go national with donations to homeless and disabled veterans through the National Veterans Telethon, Paralyzed Veterans of America and Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. These organizations have the ability to accept online donations (see Resources below).
Give time to a veterans' hospital. You can serve as a volunteer by reading to veterans, bringing them food, magazines and books and helping overworked staff with basic duties. Call ahead to schedule volunteer time and find out what will be asked of you.
Donate clothing and household items to Clothing Donations.org. This group serves the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) by reselling donated items. Check with family, friends, neighbors and local churches for their used items (see Resources below).
Organize a bake sale, car wash or auction with the proceeds going to veteran charities. Get your neighborhood or church involved in the project. Elicit help from young people to increase their knowledge and appreciation of veterans.
Petition corporations and other businesses for donations. Get on the telephone and solicit directly. Explain who you are and give specific information about the organization needing the funds. You can also write a letter asking for donations that describes those in need.
Think creatively to donate to veterans. Ideas such as hosting a karaoke fundraiser with a donation amount pledged for each song, auctioning off interesting articles from the WWII and Vietnam War era or staging a 1940s-themed dance marathon with entry fees can go a long way in raising much-appreciated funds.
Work for veteran causes as a way to donate. Show your advocacy by attending rallies, working phones and writing to your government officials with your concerns. Consider making a speech on Veteran's Day or campaigning for a veteran-focused bill.