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The team from Charity Navigator, the nation's largest independent charity evaluator and leading donor advocate, shares their thoughts on emerging nonprofit-sector issues and offers tips to better inform your intelligent giving decisions.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Easy Ways to Get Involved During Military Appreciation Month


With the beginning of May right around the corner, we’re looking ahead to Military Appreciation Month. This month is set aside to recognize the service and sacrifice of the many brave men and women who protect and have protected our liberties.

This May, thank an active duty service member or veteran for their time in the service. Show that you appreciate the sacrifices they’re making to keep you safe. We’re sharing a few ideas on how to do this...



Send a Letter or Care Package

There are a number of organizations that organize care package sends to service men and women who are deployed overseas. Sending a thank you note or a box full of little things from “home” is a great way to show them they’re on our minds.

We suggest finding a program first and then reaching out for a list of suggested items to include in your care package. 

Give a Veteran a Ride

Many communities, especially around VA hospitals, offer programs to disabled veterans to provide them rides to and from their appointments. If you have extra time throughout the week, consider volunteering to participate in this important service.

In most cases, your local Department of Human Services or Veterans Affairs office should be able to connect you with a program in your area.

Participate in a Stand Down

Throughout the year, communities around the country hold “Stand Down” events to support their local veterans. During times of war, a Stand Down is a time for soldiers to retreat from the battlefield to a more secure place to rest. 

These gatherings, usually sponsored by the VA, are intended to help low-income and homeless veterans. The bring veterans and service providers together in one place and often provide hot meals, free clothing and supplies, medical screenings, hygiene services, and job training.

Again, your local Department of Human Services or Veterans Affairs office should be able to connect with an event in your area.

Support a Highly-Rated Charity

Charity Navigator’s Military Appreciation Month Hot Topic features a list of highly-rated organizations providing wounded troops services, military social services, and military family support. You can give confidently to one of the many outstanding organizations on this list knowing your gift will have an impact.

Say “Thank You”

The simplest things can often have the biggest impact. This May, take a few minutes to say “thank you” to an active duty service member or veteran. Recognize the weight of their service. If you have a few minutes, ask them about it. Find out what their experience was like.

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