Nov 11, 2013

20 Ways Student Volunteers Can Support Our Veterans

Amherst College War Memorial

The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.

Each Veterans Day, our nation honors the brave men and women who served our country and risked their lives to guarantee our freedoms.

In addition to thousands of active military and their families living in every corner of the country, there are almost 23 million vets in need of assistance, support, and simple friendship.

High school students can acknowledge the sacrifices made by our military by getting involved. You can volunteer for an organization serving veterans and/or military families, or you can initiate a project within your immediate community.

Your contribution can be as simple as taking time to meet regularly with an elderly veteran or as complex as initiating a holiday gift drive for families living on your local military base. Often the most valuable service you can provide is just being there and listening.

This Veterans Day, take a moment to reflect on the meaning of service.  And do something!

Here are some ways student volunteers can help:
  1. Visit a wounded veteran in the hospital.
  2. Complete a Create The Good project where you can help military families with chores, repairs around the house or meal preparation.
  3. Organize a fundraising drive to purchase PX/BX gift certificates or calling cards for troops.
  4. Deliver meals or care packages to homebound veterans.
  5. Agree to foster a pet for military personnel deployed abroad or organize a drive to find families willing to foster pets.
  6. Start a club at your high school to adopt a platoon.
  7. Help a veteran tell their story through a project such as the Veteran's History Project. You can download a VHP field kit from the Library of Congress website.
  8. Join with friends to send cards and letters to the troops through A Million or Operation Gratitude.
  9. Volunteer with an organization, such as Canine Companions for Independence, to provide therapy dogs to veterans.
  10. Together with your family or with the support of a school- or community-based organization, adopt a military family for the holidays.
  11. Create a service where you and your friends offer free babysitting services to military moms who need to run errands or spend time away from the kids.
  12. Set up a drop-off box for coupons and organize a coupon clipping event for mailing to military families stationed abroad.
  13. Produce a newsletter for local vets.
  14. Host a party or put on a concert at a local VA Hospital.
  15. Arrange to send care packages through the USO, the Any Soldier Program, Treats 4 Our Troops,, or Operation Gratitude.
  16. Support your local USO and volunteer to support “signature” services and events.
  17. Organize a drive to collect new and used DVD’s for veterans.
  18. Set up a drop-off site or organize a “drive” for cell phones for soldiers.
  19. Get your scout troop to pledge hours of community service to Operation Honor Cards, a project designed to support military families, service members and veterans.
  20. Say "thank you."

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