Meaningful Ways to Make a Difference on Veteran’s Day
Sunday, November 11th is Veteran’s Day in the U.S., or Remembrance Day in Canada.
Many of us live peaceful lives without fear of going a day without food or having our homes destroyed. There are people young and old who have worked to secure that safety for us. They have shouldered burdens that make them heroes and some gave up their health and their lives to do so. Today, we take time to give back.
The point is, there are a lot of people who have sacrificed their comfortable lives for the greater good and they deserve our thanks. Regardless of our opinions on the reasons we go to war, those that have lost a limb, been shot or lost friends have all gone through trauma. In order for us to heal, we need love and we need tools. We may feel there’s not much we can do to help, veterans but that is an incorrect assumption. The spouses and family members who support veterans can benefit from our gratitude, donations and involvement as well. Here are some ideas for you to use to take action this Veteran’s Day.
If You Can, Donate
Make a donation in someone’s name as their holiday gift this year. Don’t your friends have enough stuff? Wouldn’t it mean a lot to them if you gave the money you would spend to help someone who needs care? It’s important to do research before donating to make sure a charity organization has a good reputation for using donations ethically, but suspicions shouldn’t keep you from giving.
Charity Navigator reveals the percentage of funds that actually go to services versus administrative costs in a non-profit. This keeps them honest.
If you’re unsure or can’t find a local charity in your area to support, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America was listed last year on CNBC’s top 10 Veteran charities to donate to. This organization supports education, healthcare, employment support, and also helps vets connect with other vets in their area. You can donate through this link.
Vital Warrior was started by a friend of mine who was a Navy SEAL and almost died from the drugs he was given for his PTSD. He found kundalini yoga and meditation very helpful and started the organization to help others. He offers free classes in Venice, CA, and has great resources about drug facts and other holistic treatment facilities on his website, which can help veterans on their path to self-healing.
Also, don’t underestimate the power of donating your time. If you know a veteran, you may want to offer to help take them to an appointment, or just regularly check in with them. Spend time in a nursing home or senior’s centre talking with the residents. You’ll probably make some cool new friends and learn a lot along the way.
Share On Social Media
Share your gratitude and link to resources for veterans to use for assistance on social media. You never know who might see it and who it might help.
Especially in the event that you can’t donate money or time, you can share links for others to donate through social media. Do your own research and share your findings about natural remedies and therapies for PTSD that are being used as alternatives to pharmaceutical drugs. Be a part of spreading valuable information.
Attend Local Events
There are 1,700 veteran hospitals in the US operated by the VA and you can find ones close to you on this map. You can check in to see if there are events at a hospital near you or if you can visit with some of the residents at a senior’s home. Most towns hold parades, memorials, or other events for Veteran’s Day, so check your town’s events calendar for other ways you can get involved and thank someone for their service. It’s also common for people to visit cemeteries for fallen soldiers on Veteran’s Day. You can thank the souls that have secured your freedom and safety in prayerful gratitude if you choose to.
Check out this NPR article about alternative therapy for PTSD using Tai Chi. There is more funding going to yoga, meditation, and alternative therapies for veterans in Southern California and
Even little acts of kindness to express your gratitude such as a thank you card, volunteering at a senior’s home, or giving a veteran in your life a handshake or hug can make a world of a difference. Gratitude doesn’t have to cost money. Remember, doing something small does makes a difference even if you can’t do everything.
Related Article: Attitude of Gratitude: How To Practice Daily Gratitude