Many people want to support charity but face obstacles that make it difficult to do so. Whether it's a constraint on one's time or budget, it sometimes seems impossible to give as much as you wish you could. Here are a few simple ways to make a difference in the lives of veterans without spending a lot of money.
1. Donate A Car To Vehicles For Veterans
If you have an unwanted vehicle at home, you can use it to help veterans. All you need to do is call 1-855-811-4838 or fill out an online donation form to donate it to Vehicles For Veterans. Not only is your car donation tax deductible, you'll also receive free towing. The proceeds from your car donation will help fund programs that make life better for our nation's veterans.
2. Talk To A Veteran
Helping a cause isn't always about money or volunteering. Sometimes it can be as simple as just spending time with someone and having a conversation. If you know of a veteran who's in a tough situation, such as staying in a care facility without many visitors or a veteran who's experiencing homelessness, your time could mean the world to them.
3. Learn About Resources For Veterans In Crisis
When a loved one is in crisis, getting them the help they need can be a challenge. Luckily, there are many resources that help veterans during difficult times. Learning about the Veterans Crisis Line, chat and text options can better equip you to help veterans in need. Over the phone, the crisis line is 1-800-273-8255, press 1. Veterans can also text 838255 or chat online at veteranscrisisline.net.
4. Help A Veteran Share Their Story
The Veterans' History Project was established by the Library of Congress to help preserve the stories of veterans so that future generations can better understand our history. If you know a veteran who wants to share their story, it's easy to participate. Just go to loc.gov/vets for all of the tools you need.
5. Volunteer At Your Local VA
If you live near one of the larger cities in your state or region, you can likely find a local VA facility that needs volunteers. The VA needs volunteers for a number of different roles that vary by facility. Students interested in the medical field can also get valuable volunteer experience through the VA's Student Volunteer Program. A Corporate Volunteerism Program is also available.
6. Help Train Service Dogs
If you love animals, you can volunteer to help train puppies to become service dogs. There are several different organizations that rely on volunteers to raise puppies at home and provide them with a safe and healthy environment. Service dogs go on to help people who have special health needs, including disabled veterans. Depending on the organization, volunteer opportunities could also include anything from caring for animals at the facility itself or providing office support.
7. Donate Items To A Care Facility
You'll want to check before dropping items off, but your local VA hospital may welcome a donation of books or magazines. Patients and visitors will appreciate having new reading material distributed throughout the facility.
8. Share Free Legal Help With Veterans
Many veterans face legal struggles when it comes to establishing disability or claiming the benefits they've earned through their services. If you have legal expertise, try offering some pro bono resources for veterans in your area. It's easy to get started through the American Bar Association's Veterans Legal Services Initiative.
9. Volunteer At A Veterans' Memorial
There are hundreds of veterans' memorials throughout the country, both big and small. Because many of these memorials are free, volunteers are needed to keep them running. Depending on the memorial's needs, volunteer opportunities could include answering historical questions for guests, maintaining the grounds, greeting visitors or handing out information. If you love history, volunteering at a local memorial is a great way to help veterans.