Don’t forget that November 11, 2018 is Veterans Day, a day of remembrance dedicated to and honoring all American veterans who served in each of the wars. It’s important to remember all the sacrifices members of each military branch made to protect our liberties and freedoms.

Making A Difference Foundation Thanking Veterans Through Assistance

MADF thanks veterans of our armed services every day through some of the services we provide. While the ECP Food Bank in Tacoma is open to all, we especially encourage veterans and their families who are struggling to make ends meet to come visit the food bank for needed food, personal care items, pet food and supplies, and other empowerment programs. MADF also assists veterans with two other direct service programs:

  • Homes 4 Veterans provides safe, secure, and stable housing for high-need veterans with families. We provide a home and a program that supports a new start in life. We believe in helping veterans succeed to break the cycle of homelessness. Moving homeless veterans and their families into a safe home is the backbone of our program. Our houses are selected in areas with good resources and schools throughout Pierce, King, Kitsap, Snohomish, and Thurston counties in Washington and also in Killeen, Texas. We provide resources and referrals for accommodations and support in the home for our veterans with disabilities with a variety of services that could include budget management, access to community resources and social services.
  • Blair’s Sanctuary Garden gives women veterans a place to flourish in serenity, acceptance and peace while growing organic and healthy food for our community. The garden is a partnership with the Washington Department of Veteran Affairs and aims to provide a therapeutic and collaborative community environment for female veterans to learn about sustainable crop management and growing food organically while providing fresh nutrient-rich fruits, vegetables, and herbs to the community through the Eloise Cooking Pot Food Bank.

So, what are some ways people within the community can thank those brave men and women who have served or are serving in the military and work every day to protect our freedoms? Here are 10 great ways to thank a veteran, and not just on Veterans Day:

  1. Find local charities and organizations that serve veterans and their families and donate resources as appropriate. Most organizations like these are underfunded and can always use the extra financial help to help veterans in need.
  2. Volunteering your time at a veteran organization or a community agency that serves veterans is also a good way to give back to veterans.
  3. Write letters or postcards as a thank you. You can do this for active-duty men and women currently serving overseas or send to veterans in your local area.
  4. Create a care package for current active-duty men and women overseas. Many are on tours, especially to places like the Middle Eastern countries, can always use personal care item, letters from back home, special treats, or things that just remind them of the good old USA.
  5. For those on active duty overseas, do something nice for their family while they are away. You can mow a lawn, shovel snow, fix a car, or even provide a care package to the spouse or children.
  6. Cook a meal or some special treats and serve to the veterans at your local VFW Hall or American Legion Post.
  7. Write a postcard or thank you card to all veterans and post it at a location where veterans frequent such as the local VFW or American Legion.
  8. Carry small gift cards (like to Starbucks or McDonald’s) to hand out to veterans and military people you happen to see or give them to veterans organizations to hand to their veterans.
  9. Ask about a veteran about their service and just listen! Many times, we all want to be heard and remembered. Veterans are no different and many just want to know their story matters.
  10. Show your support and advocate for veterans within your community and government so they get the proper care and support they need and are entitled to.

For many veterans, however, an expression of gratitude can be awkward, especially if they are just returning from a tour of service or re-entering civilian life. When thanking a veteran, please always remember to be respectful and approach and treat them as you would want to be treated.