The Fourth of July is always a fun day to celebrate America’s independence with parades, flags, fireworks, music and delicious barbecues with family and friends. It’s also a wonderful time to remember our military and show our gratitude by giving back service for the red, white and blue. The Fourth of July celebrates our independence, won by our military, and the reason our veterans serve – to preserve the values of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
With school out, July is a perfect time for do-it-yourself service projects. Check out these ideas for service projects that you and your family can do together for our military service members.
Help a military family
Most of us know someone connected to the military. Maybe it’s your neighbor, friend or co-worker. Think about simple ways to serve them. Find out what a service member or members of their family might need. You could watch their kids, mow their lawn, wash their car, make a meal or buy them groceries. Get the entire family involved. These small acts of kindness show your appreciation for their service to our country and to us personally. Most of the service projects you can do are free or mostly free. Get creative. The sky’s the limit.
Write a thank you letter
Encourage a soldier deployed in harm’s way, or support a wounded veteran, first responder or new recruit just out of boot camp by writing a letter. Include children’s drawings and artwork for a special touch. Some nonprofit military support organizations allow you to choose a specific soldier to help, while others send your letters and drawings to service members who need it most. Online, you can find tips on how to write and ship a letter to the military, as well as read soldiers’ elated responses from letters they have received.
Assemble a care package for the deployed
Put together a care package and send it to those serving abroad to let them know you care. A wide variety of items can be included in your care package, from baked goods, snacks, books, movies and sports merchandise to small electronics, toiletries and more. Service members appreciate reminders of home. The top needs and specific care package guidelines are provided by the nonprofit military organizations, along with the mailing requirement details. The United States Postal Service (USPS) provides a free “military care kit” with supplies for sending packages overseas, including boxes, packing tape and customs forms. Visit the USPS website: (https://www.usps.com) to get your free kit, which will be shipped to you within five to seven business days.
Volunteer your time with veterans
Volunteer your time with veterans programs in your local community based on your time and schedule. The nonprofit organization Volunteer Match allows you to put in your zip code and browse a variety of volunteer programs available in your area. You can also contact your local American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and Veterans Administration Office for additional information.
Military nonprofit organization websites:
- United Service Organization (USO) – https://www.uso.org
- Soldiers’ Angel – https://soldiersangels.org
- Operation Gratitude – https://www.operationgratitude.com
- Support Our Troops – https://supportourtroops.org
- Blue Star Families – https://bluestarfam.org
- Volunteer Match – https://www.volunteermatch.org
- American Legion – https://www.legion.org/-
- Veterans of Foreign Wars – https://www.vfw.org
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs – https://www.va.gov
- Military – https://www.military.com
- Check Charity Navigator at https://www.charitynavigator.org for additional military nonprofit organizations.
As a tour operator and owner of GA Farm & Garden Tours, Inc., Charmaine Jackson creates unique and captivating tour experiences for your group. Connect with her at Charmaine@gafarmtours.com