10 Ways to support our troops and their families

By | November 9, 2015 | Lifestyle & Personal Growth

10 Ways to support our troops and their families | The Momiverse | Image via Flikr by SalFalko

What does freedom mean to you?

You sip your Starbucks latte and then curse the barista who made it incorrectly as you drive away from your suburban strip mall.

You attend church and are free to practice your faith – or you may choose to have no faith at all.

You watch your television with its variety of programming and choose shows or movies that fit your interests.

You “like,” comment or tweet about politics on social media and share jokes about our country’s government and its leadership.

You have options to place your children in public, charter, private school or homeschool programs.

You live in a country in which you’re able to speak your mind freely without fear of persecution or death.

I’m grateful we have these freedoms as well as many others. All these circumstances are possible because of the men and women who currently serve or have served in our country’s military. Our military men and women served our country in battle during two World Wars, and in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan as well as other places locally and internationally. Their work is difficult and sometimes thankless.

On Veterans Day, we invite you to honor and serve these brave men and women and their families. Review the list of organizations below with your kids. Get your kids involved by asking them how they’d like to help a soldier and/or his or her family.

November is Military Family Appreciation Month and on Veterans Day, the team here at theMomiverse.com would like to share with you ways in which you can support our troops and their families – not just on Veterans Day, but all year.

During deployment

Books for Soldiers

Once you register on this site, you can view request from soldiers for books and DVDs. You can also participate in forums that feature discussions with military personnel and other donors. The site also provides guidelines for how to ship materials. Use the search feature to find requested titles you already have at home.

Cell Phones for Soldiers

This organization was started by a 12 and 13 year old brother-sister team. The organization continues to be managed by the siblings and their parents. Cell Phones for Soldiers provides troops with free calls home through generous monetary contributions and the recycling of used mobile phones. Used mobile phones from all service providers are accepted. Each $5 contribution, or donated device valued at $5, will provide troops with 2.5 hours of free talk time.

Operation Gratitude 

Operation Gratitude annually sends 100,000+ care packages filled with snacks, entertainment items and personal letters of appreciation addressed to individually named U.S. service members deployed in hostile regions, to their children left behind and to veterans, first responders, wounded warriors and their care givers.

Operation Shoebox

This nonprofit group seeks monetary contributions or donations of select goods including toiletries, stationery, snacks, clothing, blankets, pillows, coffee mugs, cameras, toys for children, and much more. They package the goods and send care packages to the troops.

The United Services Organization (USO) 

The USO lifts the spirits of America’s troops and their families. The USO is not a government agency and relies on the generosity of the American people to support its activities. This organization is committed to sharing a touch of home with our troops wherever they serve – from free phone cards to care packages full of much needed items, entertainment tours to just a simple hug.

On the homefront

Hero Miles

This program enables you to donate frequent flier miles from select airlines to provide airline tickets to support wounded, injured, and ill service members and their families. You can find a list of participating airlines with instructions on how to donate on the website.

Homes for Our Troops

This non-profit organization assists severely injured Veterans and their families by raising money, providing building materials and professional labor, and by coordinating the process of building a home that provides maximum freedom of movement and the ability to live more independently. The homes provided by Homes for Our Troops are given at no cost to the Veterans they serve.

National Veterans Foundation

Founded by one of the world’s most sought after experts in treating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, the National Veterans Foundation helps veterans and families who have a variety of needs. They provide crisis management, information and referral needs for all U.S. Veterans and their families through the nation’s only toll-free helpline. They also offer outreach services that provide veterans and families in need with food, clothing, transportation, employment, and other essential resources.

Operation Homefront 

Operation Homefront assists military families during difficult financial times by providing food assistance, auto and home repair, vision care, travel and transportation, moving assistance, essential home items, and financial assistance.

Operation Homefront Village provides short term transitional housing to service members who are disabled from injuries and discharged from the service. Because these soldiers are at risk of becoming homeless, these programs help service members transition back into civilian life. Operation Homefront Villages allow these service members to live rent free while they go through the transition process.

Wounded Warrior Project 

The Wounded Warrior Project provides a holistic rehabilitative effort to assist warriors with visible and invisible wounds as they recover and transition back to civilian life. They have various programs structured to engage warriors, nurture their minds and bodies, and encourage their economic empowerment. The organization’s programs give warrior families and caregivers comfort, care, and education to help support the recovery of their Wounded Warriors. All programs are provided free of charge for warriors and their families.

Photo sources:   SalFalko, DVIDSHUB (Lance Cpl. Michael Dye)

How do you like to show support for our troops and their families?

If you have a favorite organization that we haven’t listed, please feel free to list it in the comments section below so that other readers will learn about it.

Thank you to all the men and women who serve our country in the armed forces – past and present. You make me proud to be an American.

Spread the word!
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Charmin Calamaris

Charmin is a wife, mom of two boys and creator of the Momiverse. The Momiverse is an online magazine for busy moms (is there any other kind?) dedicated to helping moms make time – and take time – for themselves. She traded in her career in land use planning and environmental policy to become Chief Executive Navigator of the Momiverse. You can connect with Charmin in her "online office" on Twitter or Facebook.

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