While there are certain holidays and events each year dedicated to members of the U.S. military, the need to support veterans and active-duty military members and their families is an ongoing effort.
The good news is that there are plenty of ways you can give back all year long from your smartphone:
Volunteer and Donate Virtually: Volunteering doesn’t have to be in-person these days. Soldier’s Angels has numerous virtual ways to make an impact in a service member’s life – from supporting deployed service members by collecting and sending care packages, to adopting a family for the holidays and hosting virtual baby showers.
It’s never too late to donate your quarantine wardrobe and de-clutter the house. Organizations like Vietnam Veterans of America accept gently-used clothing and household items and will even pick up donations safely from your home. Providing reliable transportation is another way to help. Programs like Vehicles for Veterans and Recycled Rides provide donated cars and vehicle maintenance and repair assistance for veterans in need of a ride.
Take Honor Flights to the Next Level: The Honor Flight Network enables veterans to visit war memorial monuments and museums at no cost, but for veterans unable to travel to Washington D.C., T-Mobile and virtual reality mental fitness solutions company Healium are bringing a virtual Honor Flight experience to veterans where they live. Veterans can tour the Washington D.C. war memorials from the comfort of their own homes using virtual reality goggles and a hotspot, powered by T-Mobile’s 5G network.
Give a Gift the Gives Back: The next time you need to buy a birthday gift or stock up on household essentials, make a purchase you can feel good about. American-made apparel company Oscar Mike donates 100 percent of their proceeds to help injured military members stay active. Boss Dog provides tasty and nutritious food and treats for your four-legged companions, while giving back to disabled veterans and service dog organizations like Victory Service Dogs and Pets for Vets. Providing a fun night out for service member families is a way to boost mental health and well-being. Non-profit organization Vet Tix provides tickets to concerts, sporting events and more to families in need of a little fun.
How Your Business Can Help: Large or small, your business can make an impact. Offering a veteran or military discount at your business will not only show appreciation and support, but will also drive business. Companies like T-Mobile offer discounted military smartphone service plans and support programs like Hiring Our Heroes, a U.S. Chamber of Commerce initiative to help provide military members and their families with meaningful employment opportunities.
Those who serve in the Armed Forces have given so much of themselves. These are just a few ways we can continue to show our gratitude.