By Amy Collett
Image via Unsplash
Active service members and veterans have laid down their lives so we can live freely. Despite their sacrifices, many service members, veterans, and their families struggle to maintain a high quality of life.
Whether finding a job, securing housing, getting a ride to their medical appointments, or any other challenges, you can make a difference in the lives of those in your community. And you don’t have to be wealthy or have free time. If you want to give back to the men and women who have sacrificed so much, consider these simple tips from Put Veterans to Work:
Help Veterans Get a Home
Many veterans struggle to find adequate housing. And fortunately, there are many ways you can help those in your community find and secure a home that meets their needs.
For example, take time to talk to your veteran and ask if they are eligible for a VA loan. These loans are backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs and provide opportunities to veterans to buy a home without a down payment. And one of the biggest perks of using a VA loan is there is no requirement to purchase mortgage insurance, which saves them money.
Help Veterans Get Hired
Like housing, many veterans have trouble finding jobs where they can excel. Organizations like Put Veterans to Work help veterans, active service members, and military spouses find and secure jobs in the civilian world. Services include mentorship, resume editing, and career counseling.
You can also volunteer with local veteran services to help vets in your community. Whether it is counseling job applicants, conducting mock interviews, or providing expertise in a specific industry.
Help Them Go Back to School
If you have a loved one who’s a veteran looking to boost their earning potential, encourage them to return to school. This is especially wise if they are eligible for GI bill benefits, which help pay for college. Your favorite vet doesn’t have to visit a campus either. Online university programs offer plenty of opportunities to learn from home and achieve degrees from accredited colleges.
Get Involved at the Local VA Facility
If you want to ensure veterans in your community get the medical care they need, consider volunteering for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The VA has many hospitals and medical facilities throughout the country and constantly accepts volunteers to fulfill various roles.
You can use an online locator to find nearby facilities. Then, you can call the facility or visit its website to get all the information you need about volunteering.
Donate or Volunteer at DAV
Another worthy nonprofit charity worth getting involved with is the Disabled American Veterans (DAV). This organization provides veterans free transportation to medical appointments and assists with benefits claims.
If you have the time, volunteer for the DAV by filling out a simple form on its website, teaching you about the specific volunteer needs at the nearest facility. Besides driving vets to medical appointments and helping them with benefits claims, volunteer opportunities include running errands, home maintenance, and other tasks. If you cannot volunteer your time, know that the DAV is worthy of donating your money.
Show Your Gratitude
One of the simplest ways to benefit the life of a veteran, active service member, or military family is to say “thank you.” You can drop a thank you note in the mailbox of a veteran in your neighborhood, take a meal to the doorstep of a military spouse, or organize a care package to send to a military member overseas.
Organizations like Operation Gratitude will deliver cards, letters, and care packages to military personnel, and vets. And if you have kids, this can serve as an excellent craft project that teaches them the importance of supporting our troops.
Securing a home, finding a job, going back to school, and getting to medical appointments are just a few of the challenges you can help veterans, military personnel, and families overcome in your community. Consider the simple and impactful tips above for helping former and current service members in your area achieve a higher quality of life. Not only will it positively affect their lives, but it will also enrich yours!