How can I help veterans charities on a limited budget?

by Dick Bishop
(Tucson, AZ USA)

I recently saw a PGA ad on TV showing a left-handed wheelchair-bound soldier swinging a right-handed golf club. I would think this is the whole reason why the sports programs (and others) still need help.

What can I do on a very limited budget to help?

Dick Bishop - Vietnam Vet.

Dick, thank you for this excellent question. We're surprised to hear that you saw a left-handed wounded warrior swinging a right-handed club on a PGA ad.

The PGA has an extensive charity program that includes several programs for wounded warriors. You can learn more about them at PGA Tour Military Charity Causes. The PGA indicates that in the past five years, it has raised more than $5.2 million for military homefront charities.

PGA Tour player Phil Mickelson and his wife Amy created a program in 2005 called Birdies for the Brave. Mickelson donates $100 for each birdie, and $500 for each eagle he makes on the PGA Tour. Birdies for the Brave is now the "PGA Tour's primary vehicle for supporting the brave men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families."

Back to your question: How can I help veterans charities on a limited budget?

  • In addition to donations of cash or in-kind donations of clothing, vehicles, or household appliances, charities can always use a donation of your time to assist with their various projects. They may need your help to round up volunteers for an event they're sponsoring, man a booth, make phone calls, do other administrative tasks, or any number of other tasks.

    If you have time to volunteer, find a local veterans charity and offer your assistance for whatever they need.

  • If there's a military family in your neighborhood with a deployed loved one (or maybe a veteran who might
    need some assistance), offer to:

    • help with home or auto repairs,

    • mow the lawn,

    • wash the car,

    • walk the dog,

    • take the kids to play soccer/baseball/football or to the beach or park or movies to give Mom (or Dad) an afternoon off,

    • help kids with homework or special projects,

    • bring over dinner to give Mom (or Dad) a night off from cooking,

    • treat them to ice cream,

    • do something special for their birthdays, just so somebody remembers their special day,

    • bring flowers,

    • bake cookies or cupcakes or other treats.

  • If there's a VA hospital or medical center where you live, contact their volunteer coordinator to see how you can help. They may need someone to visit with vets who don't have family nearby, distribute mail, gifts and flowers, participate in recreational activities with the vets (we have friends who put on bingo games once a month at their local VA hospital, complete with prizes and refreshments), or any number of other volunteer activities. Find the nearest VA medical center.

  • Join Patriot Guard Riders and participate in their missions to show support and respect at the funerals of fallen service members and shield their families from protesters and other detractors.

  • Join a local veterans support group that goes to the local airport to ensure a proper "welcome home" for our returning service members.

These are just a few of the things you can do to help military families and veterans and show your support, even if you're on a limited budget. We hope this list will spark your creativity, and you'll think of other ways to help.

If you have suggestions of other ways Americans can help our military families and veterans charities on a limited budget, please click on the link below to add them where it says "Click to add your comments."

Click here to post comments

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