Whether we realize it or not, we owe so much in our lives to military service members, veterans, and their families. These brave men and women have served our country so that we can live a life of peace and stability. Why not take a few minutes out of your day to show your appreciation and gratitude for these brave individuals? Thanks can go a long way, particularly in a time when we all need a little extra TLC.
If you’re confused about where to start and how you can help, don’t worry. NY Women of Purpose is here with a few suggestions to get you started.
Volunteer Your Time There are numerous veteran outreach programs that you can reach out to for volunteering. Check out this handy list of veteran organizations by STEPS. Here, you can check out places you can volunteer in your area and join the 610,000 volunteers who volunteered countless hours of their time to support our troops. If you’ve been looking to volunteer and don’t know where to start, this is the perfect opportunity! Spend time with our vets and their families - hear their stories, share laughter, and brighten their lives. It’s a great way to give back to your community.
Lend a Hand Completing odd jobs and tasks for your troops and their family is another effective way to help them. Many vets struggle with adjusting to post-military life, with symptoms of anxiety, PTSD, and other health issues. This can seriously hamper day-to-day functioning and make it hard to get household chores completed. You could lend a helping hand by offering to ease their plate a little bit: walk their dog, cook them dinner one night, offer to babysit - the options are endless, and the most effective way to give thanks is with action.
Find Ways to Connect According to a study in the Psychotherapy and Counseling Journal of Australia, empathy is key to connecting with another individual and validating their experience. Make space for veterans to share their expertise, as talking through their journey can be a unique form of healing. You could also connect by sending them emails, letters, and other forms of correspondence to keep them occupied. In addition, this article in Occupation Medicine reports that loneliness is the number one complaint most vets have of civilian life, so connecting with them can help ease feelings of social isolation as well.
You can also encourage veterans around you to enroll in a bachelor’s degree program. This will increase job prospects while utilizing the many skills they picked up in the training and military camp. The best part is that online degree programs offer you the flexibility to manage work, school, and daily life, as well as explore numerous industries. Be sure to check in with your new service troop friends every once in a while to keep that connection going for the long run.
Donate If you don’t have a lot of time to give, why not be creative with fundraising and donating? The act of giving back is one of the most effective and meaningful things you can do for our troops. Find an organization near you that you could donate to or start fundraising campaigns online. You could raise money through social media, selling old belongings, or through your side hustle. GoFundMe is an excellent grassroots platform that helps facilitate organic reach. Browse through the website to find a family, individual, or story that strikes a chord with you. From there, it's as simple as donating to that specific cause or mission.
The best way you can support your troops is to attempt to understand their experience. Going through intensive training and then readjusting to civilian life can never be easy. But our troops make it look effortless - so why not pause a beat to acknowledge their hard work? We hope this article gave you great inspiration to support your troops - and don’t forget to thank them for their incredible service while you’re at it.
Have you always wanted to ‘be real, live free, and live with purpose?’ NY Women of Purpose can help you achieve this goal! Our mission is to touch the lives of women worldwide by spreading the word and faith of Jesus Christ. Check out events happening soon or browse our blog for more informative content.
This article contributed by:
"Rhonda Uderhill, who committed herself to a healthier lifestyle after her husband, Pete, suffered a heart attack at 54. She now loves going for nature walks, kayaking, and tennis. She created getwellderly.com to share her passion for diet and exercise with other people her age. Today, Rhonda and Pete are both 60 and training for their first marathon."