The holiday season presents a great opportunity for us to give back to those in need. One group of individuals that is more than deserving of a lending hand is the men and women who have served in the United States military. To bring the holiday spirit to a veteran this year, try one (or all!) of these five things.

“Adopt” A Military Family 

During the holiday season, many families experience financial stress. Veteran families face the same stressor. Often veteran families are on a tight budget that even gets tighter during the holidays. Soldier’s Angels is one organization you can turn to if you are looking to help out a military family this Christmas. Help show your gratitude to those who served by picking out gifts for sons and daughters of a service member or buy grocery gift cards to help with the holiday dinner!

Write a Letter or Send a Care Package 

For many service members, it can be a difficult transition to go from a warzone to civilian life. To ease the transition think about sending a care package or writing a letter. Operation Gratitude is an organization that helps sends both packages and letters to current service members and veterans in the military community.

Gift Your Frequent-Flyer Miles  

If your schedule is jammed pack this holiday season and don’t have time to volunteer, consider donating your frequent-flyer miles. By donating your frequent fliers you can help veterans reunite with their families during the holidays. Organizations like the Fisher House Foundation, will graciously accept your frequent flyer donations and provide round-trip tickets to veterans.

Volunteer Your Time at a Local Veterans Shelter 

When veterans return home from serving their country they are often faced with many challenges from homelessness to unemployment to mental health issues. Across the country, you can find shelters with transitional programs that help veterans overcome these challenges. By checking out Volunteers of America you can see if there are any volunteer opportunities at nearby shelters for you or your family this holiday season.

Show Your Gratitude 

The simplest way of giving back is just by saying “thank you”. Saying thank you is both quick, effective, and easily shows your appreciation towards a serviceman or woman. Next time you see someone in a military uniform, stop and say thank you. You don’t have to make an elaborate speech or have all the right things to say. Sometimes a simple thank you can make a veteran’s day.

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