Beyond “Thank You”: Showing Appreciation for Our Veterans This Holiday Season

Today we have the pleasure of hosting guest writer Brittany Fisher once again. Brittany has written for us before and hosts, a financial planning website with resources designed to help you make better financial decisions She gives tips on giving back to veterans this holiday season below!

We have a lot of heroes in our country. First responders, healthcare workers, teachers, and many more give their time and talents to serve others. Military members give and sacrifice on a whole different scale. They leave their families for months at a time to selflessly defend the cause of freedom around the world. Many veterans even face challenges upon transitioning to a ‘normal’ civilian lifestyle and returning to the workforce. 

It can be hard to find meaningful ways of expressing our gratitude to these heroes. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the best ways that you can give back to veterans this holiday season. No matter your circumstances, there’s something you can do! 

Volunteer at a Stand Down

If you want to have an experience that will stay with you forever, we suggest volunteering for a Stand Down. The term originated during the Vietnam War when troops were removed from battle to rest in a place safe from harm. They had the opportunity to wash uniforms, eat a hot meal, receive medical and dental care, and socialize. 

Today, Stand Downs collect supplies and provide services for homeless veterans. Over the course of several days, veterans will receive food and care from organizations in the community. There are countless ways you can contribute to this event, and they always need help. Find a Stand Down in your area here.

Donate an Unwanted Vehicle

Free up space in your driveway by donating your old car, boat, camper, or other types of vehicle. Whether it’s brand new or barely runs, your donated vehicle can be used to serve veterans in need. 

Organizations like Vehicles for Veterans use donations to support critical programs for wounded and disabled veterans. Vehicles for Veterans believes that helping veterans should be easy. That’s why they will pick up your vehicle at no cost to you and provide you with the best tax deduction for your donation. All you have to do is fill out their donation form and they do the rest.  

Sponsor an Event Ticket

Going out to see a concert with friends and family is something we often take for granted. People who served in the military don’t. Any opportunity to re-bond with family after deployment is cherished. The same is true for veterans trying to reintegrate into the way of life they fought to defend. 

Veteran Tickets Foundation provides those re-bonding and reintegrating opportunities for veterans and their families with free tickets to socially interactive events. Your donation goes towards purchasing tickets for troops, veterans, and their families. 

Connect Veterans with Resources to Elevate Their Lives

Veterans transitioning to a civilian lifestyle often face difficulties finding a job. Sometimes their career just doesn’t fit outside of the military, and it can start to feel like they don’t fit, too. That’s when it’s time to use the educational benefits veterans are awarded for their service. GI Bill benefits help pay for college, graduate school, and training programs for veterans and their families. There are even benefits that can help pay tuition costs that the GI Bill doesn’t cover. Changing careers, or advancing the career they have, has never been easier for veterans. Online advanced degree programs make it easy to work full-time and keep up with coursework. 

There are also programs and benefits that make buying a home easier for veterans. A military family can benefit from a VA home loan that doesn’t require a down payment and PMI, as well as have better rates and more flexible terms than conventional loans. 

These resources (and more) take veterans and their families a step closer to enjoying the liberty that they fought so hard for. If you want to help veterans learn to use these benefits and maximize their potential, volunteering with or giving money to Service to School is a great opportunity to help connect Veterans with the best educational opportunities available. 

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