5 Great Ways to Support Veterans

January 8, 2013 - Posted By mjones

You don’t have to give a financial contribution to help veterans. Here are some simple, low-cost ways to make an impact on a veteran today:

1. Volunteer at a VA Hospital

Check local listings for the VA Hospital in your area. Veterans of all wars seek medical treatment at these facilities. Many recovering service members do not have visting friends or family members. Taking a couple hours a week or month to volunteer at a VA hospital and visit with veterans can make a huge impact on a wounded soldier’s life. Vist the Veterans Administration website to find out more information and to sign up to volunteer at your local VA hosptal.

2. Donate Simple Items

Small donations are also welcome at VA hospitals. Many recovering veterans are on fixed incomes and do not have supplemental items that could brighten their recovery process. Check your local VA hospital website for a list of recommended items to donate. Here are some items that are usually welcome:

  • New or gently used clothing
  • Magazine/Books
  • Coffee/Cookies
  • Telephone Cards

3. Help the Homeless

The VA estimates that over a fifth of homeless individuals in the nation once served in a foreign war. The Obama administration has vowed to end veteran homelessness by 2015. Do your part by volunteering your time at an organization assisting the homeless individuals in your area. If you know of a veteran who is homeless or at risk of homelessness, call the VA’s National Call Center for Veteran Homelessness at 1-877-4AID-VET or visit their website. You can use this contact to access free VA services and to learn how to support and encourage veterans to use these services.

4. Write a Letter

Many veterans organizations sponsor letter writing campaigns that provide letters of gratitude to veterans. Express your thanks for a veteran’s service in a heartfelt letter. Operation Gratitude is a California-based organization that organizes letter writing campaigns for veterans. To send a letter to a veteran, follow the instructions below:

  • Make sure your letters fit in a standard size envelope (no greeting cards since they will not fit)
  • Provide your name and address in the letter
  • Please do not write about politics, religion, death or killing
  • No glitter
  • All letters are screened
  • Just letters, no care packages
  • You can send multiple letters in a large mailing envelope or box

Send as many letters as you would like by regular mail to the following address:

Thank a Veteran
c/o Penny Alfonso
1970 Rangeview Drive
Glendale, CA 91201

If you know a Veteran who would like to receive letters, please give their name, mailing address and war(s) they served in to Penny Alfonso at OpGratVolunteer1@yahoo.com

5. Say Thank You

The next time you see a veteran or service member in uniform on the street, stop and say thank you. Simply saying “Thank you for your service,” can go a long way in impacting a veteran’s life. Oftentimes, veterans feel that their service is overlooked or forgotten. Let a Veteran know that you acknowledge and appreciate their sacrifice.

If you would like to thank a veteran by donating your vehicle to Vets Vehicles, please call 888-838-7834, or visit vetsvehicles.org for more information.