It’s that time of year again. The time of year where everything around you is decorated for the holidays and you cannot step food inside a retail establishment without the sounds of Christmas carols ringing in your ears. The holidays are one of the most important times of the year to remember those who served, and are presently serving because they gave up or are giving up their holidays to defend this country.
Conceptualized in 1947, and adopted by the United States Marine Corps in 1948, Toys For Tots is one of the longest-running military-related charity campaigns in this country. In 2008, the program distributed over 16.2 million toys to 7.6 million children. The foundation collects toys in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, but also accepts monetary donations on their official website.
The Wounded Warrior Project is a non-profit organization whose sole purpose is, according to their website, to honor and empower wounded warriors. The WWP works to achieve their mission by offering services of Warriors at Work, which is designed to help injured veterans find employment; Operation Outreach, which is a series of videos documenting the organization’s travels around the country meeting injured warriors; and coping services, which works as a support system for those injured. The Wounded Warrior Project makes donating easy by adding the ability to donate $5 to Wounded Warrior Project by texting ‘WWP’ to 90999 from your cell phone.
Gift Ideas For the Veteran or Active-Duty in your life
SgtGrit offers a plethora of gift ideas for anyone who is serving or served in the Marine Corps.
Navy Museum Store is the place to visit when purchasing gifts for any present or former seamen.
About.com published a list of the top 34 military gift ideas:
1. Army Ring
3. Navy Ring
Supporting Those Deployed
AnySoldier.com offers the opportunity for those living stateside to aid the morale of troops overseas by sending packages to be distributed to soldiers who receive little or no mail.
Treat Any Soldier sells pre-made care packages in a variety of categories ranging from “Goodie Time,” to “Female Entertainment.”
The USO published the following list of recommended items for care packages being shipped overseas:
- Individual packaged crackers and cookies
- Lifesavers, hard candies (no chocolate)
- Individual packaged nuts, sunflower seeds, peanuts, pistachios
- Individual beef jerky
- Packets of powdered Gatorade, Kool-Aid with sugar added
- Individual snack packs (i.e. Pretzels, Cheese Nips, Fritos)
- Travel size: Shampoo, mouthwash, sunscreen, toothpaste, toothbrushes, female products, stick deodorant (only), combs, disposable razors, shave gel, lotion and hand sanitizer
- Band-aids, sunglasses, moleskin, fly bait, “Bounce” dryer sheets (helps to keep insects away)
- Word puzzle books, magazines, pens, pencils, writing paper, and envelopes.
- Gifts of money for the purchase of military items and assist in shipping costs.
Whether you know someone in the service, or want to be a supportive citizen, do your part to support those fighting for this country. They’ve done enough to deserve some recognition, especially at the holidays.