Lend a Helping Hand This Veterans Day
Supporting your local vets doesn’t have to be limited to Nov. 11—the options are infinite and meaningful 365 days a year.
On Nov. 11, 1918 an armistice went into effect marking the end of “the war to end all wars” or World War I. Now, nearly 100 years later, we continue to honor America’s troops every year on that same day.
Veterans Day is essential in remembering the bravery of those who served and are still serving. Even today, the U.S. has over 200,000 Americans stationed overseas. As of 2014, there were roughly 21.8 million veterans in the U.S., so if you are looking to support and honor veterans this Nov. 11 and beyond, check out some options below:
Helping out veterans doesn’t only have to happen one day a year. With organizations like Pick Up Please and GreenDrop, it’s simple to give back any day. Instead of throwing out clothing and other household goods you don’t need any more, donate your gently used goods. Both GreenDrop and Pick Up Please, among similar non-profits, will pick up donations from your doorstop or offer drop-off locations like GreenDrop’s drop-off point at 2308 Concord Pike in Wilmington.
Donating goods makes an impact on the veterans community in America, but consider putting the pedal to the metal and donating a car for a veteran. Vietnam Veterans Car Donation Program offers free towing of all car donations whenever it is most convenient for the donor. All interested donors need to do is fill out a brief online form. Purple Heart Foundation has a similar process, but they also accept donations of boats and recreational vehicles. As of Oct. 29 nearly 600,000 cars have been donated through Purple Heart, which may give veterans the jumpstart they need.
The Wilmington VA Medical Center is always looking for donations that make a veteran’s stay at the hospital more comfortable and the transition out of the hospital easier. Items like coffee, cleaning supplies, hygiene products and crafting materials are all small, but impactful items you can donate today.
Aside from donating goods, you can also make a monetary donation to numerous veteran support organizations like the Wounded Warrior Project and Disabled American Veterans. All donations, from clothing to cars to cash, support America’s veterans and is just one way you can give back this Veterans Day. And don't forget—your donations are also tax-deductible.
Donate your time this Nov. 11, or any day out of the year, to recognize the men and women who have served and are still serving. Heading to your local Veterans Affairs hospital is a great place to start. In Delaware, the Wilmington VA Medical Center accepts volunteers starting at 100 hours a year. They’ll train and place you where your talents best match within the hospital.
There are numerous shelters for veterans throughout Delaware, which are always looking more helping hands. Delaware Veterans Home in Milford, the Delaware Center for Homeless Veterans in Wilmington, and Home of the Brave in Milford are just a few shelters that rely on volunteers to operate.
For dog-lovers, another way to volunteer is by raising a puppy to become a service dog. Programs like Canine Companions for Independence or Hero Dogs allow qualified individuals or families to train a puppy so that one day he or she can offer life-saving support for veterans.
Create a Care Package
Organizations like Operation Gratitude, Any Soldier Inc. and Adopt a US Soldier make it easy to send care packages and letters to troops currently overseas. With Any Soldier Inc. you can search through their database of soldiers and see what types of goods are requested. Operation Gratitude has sent over 1.3 million care packages to date, and that number grows every day. Some commonly requested items are knit hats and scarves, DVDs, hygiene products and even beanie babies to give to local children where they’re stationed.
Say Thank You
There are so many ways to say thank you and give back this Veterans Day, but why limit the thanks to just one day? Show support year-round by donating goods, making cash gifts, volunteering or sending a care package to carry on the message of Veterans Day, every day.