Engaging with veterans through volunteer service can be one of the best ways to thank them for their service, provide much-needed support and recognize the important role they play in our communities. Veteran reintegration is not a challenge but an opportunity to partner with and support them as they transition. Here are some ideas for giving back and celebrating their service on Veterans Day and all year round:
1. Connect with veterans in your community
Disabled American Veterans’ Local Veterans Assistance Program provides an excellent opportunity to give back to veterans locally by helping them with everyday tasks like grocery shopping, yard work, or running errands. It’s a great way to build relationships with veterans in your community and help them remain independent.
2. Serve alongside veterans
Many veterans get involved in community service as a way of finding purpose and connecting with their neighbors upon their return to civilian life. Through organizations like The Mission Continues, you can support service projects led by veterans and partner with them to create change in your community.
3. Volunteer at a hospital
Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals, nursing homes and clinics can always use volunteers to support patients and staff by performing various duties. To get involved, locate your local VA, sign up to volunteer at or donate to a facility, or volunteer to drive a van to and from hospitals.
4. Organize your own service project
Get creative and organize your own DIY service project to benefit veterans in your community. Some ideas include building a community garden, hosting a resume preparation workshop for returning vets or organizing a welcome home project, or collecting and archiving a veteran’s story through the Veterans Oral History Project.
Learn about Points of Light’s Military Initiatives, and the importance of engaging with veterans and the military community through service. And, find more opportunities to get involved at www.allforgood.org.