The 11th of November marks a special day for many Americans, especially those who are in close proximity to the military. Veterans Day serves as a reminder of the service and sacrifice of the men and women in the American armed forces. It’s an easy thing to make a tweet or a Facebook post (or even a blog post like this) about why the day is important, how to support our vets, and why people should help vets, it is quite another to actually find ways to help Vets. Charity can be scary, since things like time and money can be hot commodities not everyone has to spare. Yet even if it doesn’t seem like you don’t have either you can still help vets with these suggestions:
1. Donate to Charity
There is no shortage of different organizations that can help veterans in some way, whether it be helping homeless vets, helping vets find jobs or even helping service dogs that were hurt. Of course, you have to be careful when you donate your money, some charities use it better than others. If you can’t donate money, plenty of organizations will take food and clothes to feed the 130,000 homeless vets that need them. Most organizations are also happy to take volunteers on a weekend or weeknight.
Money isn't the only thing you can give to charities. Learn what else you can give for #VeteransDay! Click To Tweet
2. Take a Hike
Runs and walks are pretty good at actually raising money, usually 48% of every dollar goes to the cause. If you aren’t familiar with how charity walks/runs work, people can either create teams or get others to sponsor them for the run or race. There are plenty of runs going on and a quick Google search will help you find one in your area. If you aren’t able to find one, here is a guide for starting your own charity event!
3. Refer a Veteran to Your Work
Nearly every company has some sort of referral program, mainly because it produces higher retention and it is faster by a good 10 days (29 days to hire for referral vs 39 days for job boards), which is always a positive for businesses. It is also good news for the people looking for work, like the 507,000 veterans that are currently unemployed. Veterans currently have an unemployment rate of 4.7% which is decreasing, but of course that number could ideally be far lower than what it currently is. So if you have a friend or family member that falls into that 507,000 then the next time you see a job opening at your work put in a referral for them. It costs you nothing and if your company has a bonus for referring folks then it might even put money in your pocket.
Veterans currently have an unemployment rate of 4.7% which is decreasing. See how you can help! Click To Tweet
4. Take a Drive
There is always a need for willing and able drivers for wounded veterans. The Disabled American Veterans Charity provides vans to drive veterans that cannot drive themselves. It is a seemingly simple act and it might seem that it won’t help that many people, I mean driving a van doesn’t have the same flair as organizing a 5K run, yet there are 3.6 Million veterans with a service related disability. Individuals that can’t drive themselves to their therapy depend on volunteers to get them where they need to go, it won’t change the world, but it might change a life. Contact your local VA Hospital to see how you can get involved.
5. Say Thank You
As obvious as it is, saying “Thank you for your service” to a veteran can have a big impact on them and you. The wording is more important than you might think, as an increasing number of veterans are less comfortable with a personal ‘thank you’, thanking them for their service is considered the proper wording for most.
Of course, we should be doing many of these things all year long and not just focus on them for one day, but using the day as a catalyst to make a difference isn’t such a bad thing. Try one of the above ideas to make this year’s Veterans Day one to remember!