Even young children are taking a few moments out of their day to write letters to U.S. soldiers and vets. “Thanks for protecting our country. [You] must be very brave joining the military. They say a man looks handsome in uniform. My favorite food is chicken wings, and I like to hang out with my friends,” one letter, written by a nine year old girl, begins.
The letters are simple, inexpensive, and heartfelt — and, surprisingly, adults can learn a lot from them, too. The most important lesson to take away from them is that supporting U.S. soldiers and helping military families does not have to be expensive or overly complicated. There are plenty of ways you can give back, without investing a lot of money. Here are some ideas:
Donate Clothes From Home
There are ways that you can support troops and troops’ families for free. To keep costs absolutely free, consider donating clothing to veterans, military families, and active military members. There are plenty of charities that will pick up clothing donations for military families — saving you the expense of paying for gas (and saving you the trip, too!). Similar charities set up communal drop off locations at places you are likely to end up visiting anyway — places like offices buildings, schools, church, and the library.
Be a Friend
One military mom recommends drawing up creative coupons, granting “an hour of lawn mowing” or “a free night of babysitting.” The idea, she continues, is to proactively offer help to military husbands and wives — without waiting for them to ask. Admitting you need help and/or asking for it can be burdensome and awkward. Keep things low-key by creatively offering your help first — and as soon as you can.
Get Everyone Together, and Make New Friends
Lastly, if you do not want to shoulder all of the burden, ask family and friends to get together to organize and host a group event, such as a summer barbecue or a potluck dinner. Get everyone together for good food and collect small, optional donations for military families, soldiers, or veterans.
Supporting our troops and/or their families doesn’t have to be expensive. Give back — without breaking the bank — and feel good about it, too. Read this for more: www.purpleheartpickup.org