To observe National POW/MIA Recognition Day, attend a local memorial event, visit the grave of a veteran or spend some personal time with a former POW or veteran. Veterans appreciate the recognition; visit the local veterans home or hospital to spread good cheer or contribute to veterans. ClothingDonations.org makes it easy to #donate to #veterans causes — simply contact it to arrange a #free #donation #pickup of used #clothing and #household goods. We’ll resell that lightly used, unwanted stuff and give the money to a range of programs that help veterans of every U.S. conflict. #POW/MIA
If you have a lot of #stuff laying around that goes unused, Labor Day weekend is a great time to weed some of it out. Pick one of the three days and get to work: Go room to room with boxes, bins and a garbage can, selecting things to give away, sell and trash. You’ll likely be able to fill those bins with #junk you don’t want or need in just a few minutes or hours. Take that stuff and throw a #garage sale to make some extra cash, or simply contact ClothingDonations.org for a free #donation pickup to get it out of your sight quickly and help fund programs that help the nation’s many #veterans. #LaborDay
On Aug. 8, hundreds of officials and members of the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) will convene in Orlando, Fla., for the 2023 VVA Annual Convention. At first glance, the five-day show looks like any national conference. The difference? It’s entirely staged by — and dedicated to — veterans.
Homer Hickam, the best-selling author of the memoir Rocket Boys (the source material for the movie October Sky) will keynote the show. Hickam received the VVA Excellence in the Arts Award in 2011 and will sign copies of his latest book, Don’t Blow Yourself Up!, a memoir of his tour of duty in Vietnam.
VVA will also honor several individuals for their commitment to the nation’s veterans. Harvey Pratt, creator of the Warrior’s Circle of Honor at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., will receive the Excellence in Arts Award.
Jan Scruggs, founder of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund and chief promoter of the Vietnam Memorial, will receive VVA’s Lifetime Achievement Award. And Laurel Lea Schaefer-Bozoukoff — Miss America 1972 and a cast member of the primetime soap Falcon Crest — will receive the VVA President’s Award for Supporting the Troops in Vietnam for her USO tour and enduring support.
The convention isn’t just speeches, awards and celebrations, though. This is where VVA plans the next steps to #help #veterans of every U.S. conflict. Dedicated committees will discuss proposed resolutions on a laundry list of veterans issues, including Agent Orange, POW/MIAs, PTSD and substance abuse, veterans benefits, health care, homelessness and more.
Committees will meet to discuss the special concerns of women, minority and incarcerated veterans. And the conference will feature a Veterans Mall, where dozens of vendors supporting veterans in living their lives to the fullest will show off their products and services.
As we prepare for the annual event, VVA would like to thank the readers of The Organizing Blog. Your generous #donations to ClothingDonations.org help fund local, regional and national programming for veterans of every era, and we couldn’t host a conference without them.
VVA hopes that you will continue to support our organization in making good on its promise: “Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another.”
If you have #pets, you know that they can contribute to the #clutter and #grime that your home attracts. And the “dog days” of summer are as good a time as any to discover a few strategies to keep your space #organized and #tidy — whether you have a #dog, #cat, or some other furry, scaly or feathered friend.
First, tackle #decluttering #KonMari-style. “When going through your dog or cat’s items, focus on which of them bring your pet the most joy or serve a true purpose,” FreshPet says. “They usually make it pretty clear what they like and don’t like. Keep only the items that make your #pet the happiest.”
Try not to get too sentimental about pet possessions. If there’s something that has particular significance such as your pup’s first collar, frame it. Most other items can be discarded; #donate lightly used items to a local animal shelter or ClothingDonations.org. If something holds memories but is of little use, take a picture of it before letting it go.
Life Storage suggests creating pet “stations” around the house, designating bins and baskets for grooming items, outdoor/exercise needs, toys, and food and treats. If you house your pet in a crate, cage or aquarium, keep any related supplies #organized nearby for convenient care and maintenance.
PopSugar offers a list of 10 pet #organization products “sure to make your life easier,” or you can DIY your own storage solutions. Get creative with #thrift-store finds, shop the container section of a local hardware store or build an organizer. Consider labeling all boxes, baskets and bins as an additional #streamlining strategy.
Once your pet #stuff is organized and in its proper places, you won’t be tripping over toys or wasting time wondering where the leash went. And your home will be easier to #clean, too! Pets shed, track in dirt and leave other messes in their wake. But that’s a topic that The Organizing Blog will revisit another day. Enjoy the dog days!
Every other year, the Vietnam Veterans Association (VVA) hosts a National Leadership Conference to help it better support #veterans. This year, VVA will invite members from its more than 650 local chapters nationwide to the summit, set for Aug. 9–13 in Greenville, S.C.
While VVA was launched by and for #Vietnam veterans, the association’s motto is “Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another.” Topics discussed at the conference will be of interest to veterans of all U.S. conflicts and their families.
Seminars will cover multiple VVA initiatives, and many are open to the public. They will offer information on healing the wounds of war, including disabilities related PTSD, traumatic brain injury and toxic exposures to substances such as Agent Orange.
Others will discuss accessing veterans’ benefits, homelessness, substance abuse, suicide, and health care for the aging veteran. Special training will be available to veteran service officers (VSOs) who are helping veterans on the ground throughout the country.
Like any convention, there will be banquets, awards and special recognitions. Retired U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Walter Gaskin, secretary of the North Carolina Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, will deliver a keynote speech at the event.
“It is my honor to serve the member of our military, veterans and their families in the state of North Carolina,” Lt. Gen Gaskin said upon being appointed to his current post. “Although I retired from active duty in 2013, my commitment to providing the opportunities, resources and care owed to our military members and veterans has never ceased.”
Likewise, VVA’s commitment to veterans is unflagging. It holds the summit to better serve the nation’s 17.4 million veterans in substantive, constructive ways. And the association couldn’t accomplish this important work without your generous #donations.