Thousands of children take a few minutes to write heart-warming letters — or sometimes birthday cards, Valentines, or Christmas cards — to active military and returning veterans. “Thank you for fighting for our country. I love the color camo. Why did you want to go to the military? Thank you for dieing [sic] for our country. I love American flags. Do you ever stop working?” one letter begins.
Our children have the right idea. Helping military families, soldiers, and veterans does not necessarily entail spending a lot of time — or money — on charity. There are plenty of ways you to support our troops, without paying out of pocket. Here are some creative and inexpensive ways to get involved:
Donate Right From Home
Many organizations pick up clothing donations right from your home. Others pick up clothes and other donated items from communal locations, such as work, schools, and churches, making it much more convenient to drop off items and go about your day. If you are pressed on time and cash, these charities easily save you a trip and gas money.
Be A Big Brother or Big Sister
Several divisions of the well-known organization Big Brothers Big Sisters have branches specifically for military children. Volunteers go through brief training and coaching to adequately answer questions or counsel young children through parents’ absence while they are on active duty. Being a big brother or big sister requires very little financial commitment. Volunteers are required to devote their time — and to generally fun and recreational activities with little brothers and sisters — only.
Get Creative When Couponing
One of the biggest challenges for military spouses — and for American adults in general — can be asking for help. Military wives and husbands often take pride in being self-sufficient and admitting that they — like everyone else — need a hand can seem humiliating. Take the pressure off by drawing up creative coupons offer your help. For example, write a coupon good for “one night of babysitting,” “two hours of lawn mowing,” or “three hours help with errands,” one military mom recommends.
Helping military families does not have to be costly. Get creative and offer your help without leaving home with help from charities that pick up donations, create coupons explicitly offering a hand, or become a big brother or big sister.