Valentine’s Day isn’t just about being in love; it’s about showing love to those who matter – those who make a difference in your life. This Valentine’s Day, why not show a little love to veterans? Below, we give you some great ideas (and resources) to help you think of the perfect Valentine’s gift for the veterans in your life.
Ways to Show Love to Veterans This Valentine’s Day
#1 – Make a Valentine’s Day Card for a Veteran
Wake County, NC – All libraries encourage patrons to create cards for veterans, which are distributed on Valentine’s Day. [via Wake County.gov]
Dallas, TX – Army & Air Force Exchange Service shoppers can stop by participating exchange facilities now through Feb. 6th to fill out cards, or they can bring their own cards to drop off. The exchange will arrange for delivery to local veterans on or before Valentine’s Day. [via Military.com]
#2 – National Salute to Veteran Patients
The week of February 14 each year is your opportunity to say thank you to more than 98,000 Veterans of the U.S. armed services who are cared for every day in Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers, outpatient clinics, and nursing homes.
Activities and events include valentine distributions; photo opportunities; school essay contests; special recreation activities and Veteran recognition programs. [via U.S. Dept. of Veteran Affairs]
#3 – Make a Quilt
Check with local civic groups or nonprofit organizations within your community. Two great examples of organizations that make quilts for veterans include: Quilts of Valor, and Quilts of Honor.
#4 – Host a Breakfast, Lunch, or Dinner
Whether you host a small meal at your home with some local neighbors, or jump in with others to host a larger event, consider hosting a meal for the veterans in your local area. Check out the following ways people are doing this:
- Tampa, FL – Valentine’s for Veterans Benefit Gala [via https://www.wtsp.com/story/news/features/2016/01/25/valentines-day-dinner-helps-veterans/79302274/]
- National – Wayback Honors Vets with American Heroes Meal [via Franchising.com]
*If you see a military person/family in a restaurant, you can offer to pay for their meal, or simply thank them for their service.
#5 – Business Owner? Show Support!
If you’re a business owner, show your support of veterans this Valentine’s Day by hanging a sign in the window, or offering some sort of free or discounted item/service.
#6 – Help a Veteran at Home
Know a veteran or family of a veteran who lives nearby? Why not offer to run errands or help them around the house? Nearly 40% of our veteran population is 65 or older. Even a phone call just to check in can go a long way.
#7 – Visit Your Local VA Hospital
Find a local VA hospital near you and consider volunteering or visiting veterans who may be hospitalized. The staff members at the hospital should be able to direct you.
#8 – Visit a Veteran’s Grave
Bring flowers, or offer remembrance through silence. Bring your kids, and use it also as an opportunity to educate them on the important role that veterans play in our lives each and every day.
#9 – Invite a Veteran to Speak at Your Company or School
Invite a veteran to share his/her story with your company, school, or other organization. Prefer something more intimate? Perhaps you could host a small gathering at your home and do the same.
#10 – Gather supplies; Make Valentine’s ‘Care Kits’
Check with your local military affiliate or other civic organization. Veterans can have a wide range of needs, depending on their military status, age, family, and medical needs. Items such as canes, wheelchairs, and ramps to toiletries, and more are all examples of things that you could help collect and donate.
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