Did you know that 45% of American soldiers feel unsupported by their civilian communities?
There are many ways we can support these selfless individuals who do so much for us. We don't need to wait for Memorial Day to support our troops!
Keep reading for the ultimate list of ways to show patriotic support for our American heroes.
Donate Directly to American Soldiers
The easiest way to support our troops is to donate money. But there are over 400,000 military charities to choose from. How do you decide where to send your donation?
One of the most direct donations you can make is to Army Emergency Relief. This is the official nonprofit of the Army. It provides direct financial help to soldiers and their families who are struggling.
To support sailors and marines, you can donate to the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society. This is a non-profit run by volunteers. It provides services like financial and educational support, new parent workshops, and Quick Assistance Loans.
To support airmen, donate to the Airforce Assistance Fund. Its tagline is "For Airmen and Guards, By Airmen and Guards." Cash and check donations are accepted from civilians.
You can donate resources besides money, too. One of the most coveted resources for troops is free minutes for phone calls. To keep your heroes talking, donate used cell phones to Cell Phones For Soldiers.
This non-profit accepts all types of cell phones, no matter how old. They recycle them and use the proceeds to buy prepaid international calling cards. These cards are then sent directly to our American soldiers.
Send Care Packages
If you know a soldier currently serving, you can send packages directly to them. USPS has free packing supplies to create these kits on their website. For ideas on what to send, read this.
You can also send care packages to troops even if you don't have a specific service member's address. Many non-profits accept donations of money or items, then create and mail boxes for you.
Other non-profits allow you to pack and send the box yourself. For a list of verified, legitimate non-profits that send care packages, look at this.
Perhaps instead of sending money or mailing packages, you'd rather give your time and skills. Soldiers' Angels is a fun organization that provides you with virtual and in-person opportunities for supporting soldiers.
Some of these activities include baking treats, making handmade crafts, and distributing food assistance. There are also teams that write letters, support chaplains, and support deployed female soldiers.
This can be a great way to teach the youth in your life how to be a proud American, as well as how great it feels to show patriotic support.
Share Your Feast
Holidays can be lonely for our active troops. One way of supporting soldiers is to open your home to them.
Find a base close to you, and contact its Community Relations Office. They will help you connect with one or two soldiers who would love a warm, friendly dinner.
This is one of the most personal ways you can give. In sharing a holiday or a meal, you will form lasting friendships and create warm memories with brave American heroes.
Foster Their Pets
During deployment, it can be hard for service members to care for furry family members.
Dogs on Deployment connects you with service members who need your help petsitting. You can volunteer to board a pet in your home while the soldier is away.
This site allows you to communicate one-to-one with the soldiers themselves. It also allows you to choose exactly how long you wish to board a pet, from under a month to greater than 12 months.
Write a Thank You Note
One of the simplest and most heartwarming gestures any proud American can make is to write a thank you note for a service member.
One great organization is supportourtroops.org. Send them your positive, respectful letters, and they will distribute them to soldiers who need them.
This organization doesn't send along any of your personal information, like contact info or last names. This makes it both safe and personal. Thus it is ideal for kids and classrooms as well!
When looking for ways to support American soldiers, let's not forget those who have completed their service and returned to civilian life.
One of the best ways of supporting veterans is to support their businesses. Look carefully at where your products are manufactured. Our consumer market is flooded with cheap goods made overseas.
But it is often worth it to buy "MADE IN THE USA" whenever possible. These products are usually of higher quality, and many are owned by veteran families.
One proud supporter of American business is The Patriot Box. Veteran-owned, our monthly subscription introduces subscribers to a wide range of USA-made items.
And if your business makes MADE IN USA goodies, click here for a chance to be featured in our boxes.
Support Spouses and Families
One of the best ways to support those who serve is to consider their spouses and families.
Brides Across America accepts donations of gently used wedding dresses. They then distribute them to military brides. Donating your dress is a thoughtful way to ease financial stress for new families.
When a military family is expecting, operationshower.org provides a day of fun with a baby shower. If you want to get involved, you can donate or volunteer at a shower near you.
Be a Patriot: Support Our Troops
As patriots, it's our duty to support our American soldiers, sailors and marines, and airmen. Feel free to choose ideas from this list that fit your lifestyle and your giving goals.
Plus, the best way to teach future generations pride and patriotism is to demonstrate it. So let your kids help!
If you want to support a veteran business and try out new great products MADE IN THE USA, check out our subscription boxes today!