Holidays

armed service members seated for thanksgiving dinner
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Here's How To Help Pay It Forward To Our Military Families This Thanksgiving

There are little ways to help that make a big difference.

Military families sacrifice so much so that we can live our lives knowing that we are safe from foreign enemies. They put in the hours, spend time away from loved ones, and move all over the world so we don't have to. This Thanksgiving, consider giving back to these families, and making their day just a bit brighter.

There are a ton of ways you can help, but the best is by supporting them regularly. If you're friends with a military family, or you have a military member in your fam, ask them what you can do. Maybe it's babysitting, maybe it's sending deodorant care packages, or whatever else they need. But if you don't know anyone, there are groups out there that are set up for civilians like us to help the military and their amazing families when they could use the extra boost... like during the holidays. Imagine being miles from your family, your partner is in some far-flung region of who knows where, and you've got to make the holidays special for your kids. It would be a challenge, right? That's why these groups/foundations exist (and I, for one, am so grateful to be able to help in any way I can).

1

Hero Meals

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The charity Military Friends has a program called "Hero Meals" that gives different meal packages to military families, fallen first responders, service people, and veterans. Your donation will help provide all of the holiday fixings to those who need it. It's a direct charity without a lot of publicity, but it still gets the job done year after year, which is just wonderful.

2

Operation Homefront

Operation Homefront has been around for a while, and they have their system down to a science. They distribute a ton of meals for every holiday, and you can volunteer for them or donate funds to help continue their amazing program that helps military families. They also give financial assistance and help with housing, so your funds will be helping in myriad ways.

3

Armed Services YMCA

The ASYMCA has a program called Operation Holiday Joy that helps service members provides both food and gifts for those who have experienced difficulty. They're an enormous group that also provides childcare to service members as well as classes and professional help. Donating to them is a good bet.

4

Fisher House Foundation

While not specifically a holiday group, A+ rated Fisher House provides several different services to military members. The reason why I suggest this charity is that you can donate cash, or you can donate your frequent flier miles to service members who might want to get home for the holidays (in the after Covid times).

5

Soldiers' Angels Adopt A Family

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The Soldiers' Angels Adopt A Family program provides grocery gift cards as well as gifts for the children of the household by sponsoring families. There is a minimum commitment, but it's not extreme. However, if you're not able to get there, you can volunteer to help. (Time can be just as valuable as cash.)