December 1, 2020 is #GivingTuesday and marks a global day of recognition where we look to get involved and do good for our local communities. How can you give back to your vet family?
Military service men, women, and their families serve the world over. They live here in the United States across bases in every state. They live all over every region of the world, spread out across bases in countries like Germany, Italy, Japan, and elsewhere.
We are going to highlight the organizations that will get you involved locally with the military families, veterans, and active-duty members you live close to. But before we do, know you can encourage global participation with #GivingTuesday’s military initiative.
Kindness goes a long way in support of the U.S. military community.
Through 1 million acts of kindness, #GivingTuesday is aiming to have a real impact on active-duty military and veteran lives wherever they are around the globe.
Whether it’s a phone call to your loved ones abroad, a care package for your beloved stationioned in another country, or a movie rental for your nephew or niece who’s a brand new cadet overseas…there are countless ways to brighten up the day of someone serving elsewhere.
Donate a Working Acoustic Guitar to a Learning Veteran
Guitars For Vets
PTSD is all too real for the men and women who serve for the protection of our freedom. Physical and emotional duress has a lasting impact well after they return from combat and serve overseas. Organizations like Guitars For Vets offer outreach through music and the power of therapeutic practice.
One guitar provides a lifetime of music and gives veterans a creative outlet.
It all started in 2007 when Patrick Netteshheim was introduced to a Marine who always wanted to learn guitar. A guitar instructor at the time, Patrick helped the Marine see that he could learn despite his PTSD. Together they shared what they learned with other veterans and this journey would be the organization’s foundation and beginning.
Right now you can give back and help immensely through the donation of musical instruments. Guitars For Vets regularly accepts donations of acoustic and electric guitars, bass guitars, effects pedals and amplifiers, and drums and cymbals.
Serving and Empowering Women Veterans
Grace After Fire
Founded in 2002, Grace After Fire has an important mission: connect women veterans around the U.S. with the resources and tools needed to be successful in life after the military. The organization is focused entirely on supporting these women through peer-to-peer support groups, social networking events, community outreach, and financial needs assistance.
Archery lessons are only one lesson in a Grace After Fire retreat.
The services are available to women of all U.S. military branches, service eras, and discharge statuses. In 2018, the organization was able to:
- Reach 3,500 new women veterans through email, phone, or in person.
- Facilitated over 80 peer-to-peer groups nationwide
- Helped to create the very first Women’s Veterans Day March & Symposium
There are many ways to help and get involved before the end of the year or in 2021. You can either donate your time as a volunteer or donate items such as groceries and gas. Apply to become a volunteer today!
Telling Veteran Stories Through the Power of Song
Nashville songwriter Bon Regan was inspired to form Operation Song while performing on tour with AFE in the early 2000s! After meeting so many men and women, while touring, who benefitted from their short time listening to music and sharing their stories, Bob realized there were stories in them waiting to be heard.
Bob Regan (far right) with Jimmy Sells and John Michael Montgomery
Groups as many as 8 veterans gathered with Bob to tell their stories, share their experiences, and have a professional songwriter work with them to transform that experience into a song. Operation Song works therapeutically with individuals one-on-one now, taking them through the journey Bob founded with the original 8 veterans.
Contact Bob Regan to volunteer your effort in transforming a veteran story into song.
Letting Veterans Know They are Not Alone
The Trevor Project
The Trevor Project is a national organization providing suicide prevention outreach and overall crisis intervention to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender young people under the age of 25. Founded in 1998, the organization was started by the directors and producers of an Academy award-winning film, Trevor.
Since then, The Trevor Project has started provided resources for LBGTQ military and supports mental health services from the Department of Veterans Affairs. With many ways to get involved, it’s most important that individuals know there is an organization there for them like this.
As a veteran, you could share your story to help LGBTQ veterans or active duty understand they are not alone. Whether you volunteer or become an advocate, there’s plenty to learn about from this foundation.
Thank you for your service!
Armed Forces Entertainment
Do you know an organization that gives back to veterans? Reach out to @ArmedForcesEnt on Twitter and share! We’d love to include the organizations you suggest.
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