Military personnel make dozens of sacrifices for the nation’s well-being. Offering our support for military families in turn does not have to be all that costly, time-consuming, or complicated. There are several simple and effective ways to give back and to show our thanks. Here are just a few:
For The Young ‘Uns
While many U.S. men and women are proud to be part of a military family, one hard truth remains: raising children with one parent deployed can be challenging and, at times, heartbreaking. Thankfully, there are plenty of things you can do to make it a whole lot easier. There are several organizations that collect charitable donations of infant, baby, and toddler essentials — items like diapers and baby wipes. Donating baby clothes can also be immensely helpful. These clothes are especially rare, while also being in relatively high demand. What’s more, it’s good for the environment, too. As it stands, a single U.S. household throws away at least 68 pounds of clothing every year, and 90% of these items could have been recycled instead. Drop off clothes at charities or look into organizations that pick up donations.
Offer Help Exactly Where It’s Needed
Of course, gathering clothing for organizations that pick up donations is a great place to start — but there are also ways to get directly to the heart of the matter. For example, over one-quarter (27%) of military families have sizable credit card debt of more than $10,000. There are several organizations — Internet-based and otherwise — that enable military families to list their most pressing needs. For example, if paying a past due telephone bill will be most helpful, families are able to clearly state that need and exactly how much the bill will cost. People who want to do their share can either pay for the entire request, or pay a small portion that is within their means.
Do you want to help military families? You can — and you can do it within the confines of your own personal budget. Give just a little toward a military families’ electric bill, donate a bag of diapers, or give gently used infant clothing.