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Admire Military...Then HELP Them

We have two great national holidays honoring those who serve the United States. One of course is Memorial Day. The other is Veterans Day.

While both generate wonderful tributes to those who've served (or are still serving), we still rarely read or hear solid advice for helping our armed forces with their more personal needs.

What can you do, whether you're an individual, working in a company...or even owning a company? There are all sorts of possibilities.

Check out local options

You can always donate dollars to a nonprofit that you know helps our military. Thankfully there are a variety of options you can choose. For example, check out Wounded Warriors and Disabled American Veterans and see what's in your area.

But maybe you're a business owner, the kind who likes to personalize your support, with you and/or staffers physically helping others out. Here are just three quick options. Many (if not all) probably have vets and/or families among those they serve, but all are solid "let's help others" nonprofits:

Meals on Wheels--As it's website says, this amazing group supports "5,000 community-based programs across the country," that fight isolation and hunger. With an ever-aging population, it's a nonprofit that's seen it's market explode since the 90s. They rely on volunteers to deliver to the homebound. These volunteers have learned you can bring not only food, but joy, to these people...and be uplifted by them. You can see great insights about volunteering by clicking "Take Action," then "Volunteer."

Delaware Volunteer Opportunities--Type in "State Volunteer Programs" (or similar words) and tons of links pop up for different locales. I love the way Delaware created a site that popped up right near the top of Google Search and had nice, easy-to-read, options. You can help at a health center they mention, in their "Medicare Patrol Program," and others. Obviously a great example of finding ways to truly help those locally.

Rebuilding Together--Most of us have heard of "Habitat for Humanity" and of course you can find tons of options for helping that group locally. But again, by searching for state volunteer options, I found this group right here in my Maryland area. It's mission, it says, is "devoted to repairing homes, revitalizing communities and rebuilding lives by providing no cost home repairs..." to those who need help. I don't know if the services already listed take on volunteer helpers, but if you're great with DIY home repairs, why not check? (Some members of my family could have provided great help as indoor carpenters, painters, and wallpaper gurus.)

Getting the word out

Since everyone I contact with my newsletter is in communications, I know anyone in this field can find other ways to aid our armed forces and loved ones. Quick ideas:

PSAs--Create TV and/or radio ads that honor vets and remind folks about local ways to help them.

Flyers and other handouts--Donate time to create some quick marketing add-ons for companies/services already doing these good deeds.

Setting up websites--Post a note on social media that this Memorial Day you're holding a contest. The prize? You'll set up a new site for a local group serving our armed forces, or update an old one.

Social media service(s)--Do you handle SEOs? Then offer a report to agencies involved with military and/or families. What about LinkedIn Stories? They're a great way to gain recognition among potential fundraisers, so maybe offer XXX months of stories, or even provide an editorial calendar. Or choose options in your social media specialty, be it Twitter, Instagram, or others.

Have you already found a way to help current military, vets, and/or their families? Please let me know, either through the chat below or even post a message to me on LinkedIn.

BTW, don't worry if you can't do one of the above in time for this Memorial Day. Getting the word out and making connections helps any day of the year.

Meantime, as the wife of a vet, the daughter of another, the niece of one, and a cousin to several, I wish you all the best not just on holidays but throughout the year. ###

Besides being a proud member of the Military Writers Society of America (thanks to hubby's service), Wendy Meyeroff is another kind of veteran. That's 20+ years in award-winning B2B and B2C print and online communications, for clients that include CBS and Sears; Apple; Merck; Johns Hopkins and St. Jude's medical centers; Henkel Vitamins; Universal Photonics; Pirelli Engineering; Oscar de la Renta, and the Epilepsy Foundation.

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