Vote to Clean House – And Help Veterans

Greetings, readers! The Organizing Blog is back from its six-month pandemic hiatus — and just in time for a presidential election that’s sure to be contentious. Today, get out and exercise your right to vote if you haven’t already.

You may be in the mood to “clean house” with your vote, given the disruptions COVID-19 has brought to everyday life. Are you better off than you were four years ago? Hard to say — but life pre-COVID was almost certainly less stressful.

House is also where you’ve probably been spending a lot of time since March — and you and your family members may be confined there again if the current spikes in coronavirus infections don’t abate before winter.

After you’ve voted, binge-watched your Netflix shows and baked a loaf of sourdough, you may look around your home and find that spending lots of time there has led to added dirt and clutter. And that means it may be a good time to literally clean house.

Maybe you bought a lot of extra stuff online that you later found out you didn’t need in lockdown. Maybe working from home or switching the children to remote learning has created new, voluminous piles of papers. Or maybe the boredom and added wear have you wanting to overhaul the space altogether.

Whatever the reason you want to clean house, remember the nation’s veterans as you declutter, organize and sanitize your space. Donate the stuff you no longer want or need to; we’re again scheduling pickups in many areas.

Veterans are vulnerable during the COVID-19 crisis. Most Vietnam vets, for example, are now over 65, and many have preexisting conditions that could make a coronavirus infection life-threatening. And they, too, feel isolated and uncertain in their homes.

The stuff you donate gets resold at secondhand stores to fund programs that provide veterans with health care, housing and other resources. Box it up as you clean house and  then arrange for a #donation pickup online at or by calling 888-518-VETS.

You’ll not only be able to enjoy a cleaner, clutter-free home, but also help veterans feel more secure in theirs.

Plot a Patriotic Election-Night Party

With the World Series over, the next big event on everyone’s mind is the 2016 election.

While most people in the United States are sick of hearing the stump speeches and the sordid details, the presidential election has been driving news coverage for almost two years and will soon come to a dramatic end—and that’s an excuse for celebration.

With a little creativity, you can host a party that celebrates the democratic process, helps those who serve or have served in the military, and entertains friends (on neutral turf) as the returns come in.

First, you’ll need some supplies. The thrift store—often stocked with clothing and other donations from—is a great resource for lightly used red, white and blue paraphernalia left over from July 4th. You can find items such as American flags, maps, games and clothing with a patriotic theme.

A few patriotic refreshments are in order. Adult beverages can include Blue Hawaii and Cosmopolitan cocktails to suggest the two major parties by beverage color. Blue-state/red-state beers might include Pabst Blue Ribbon and Red Stripe.

Food can be as simple as all-American hot dogs and apple pie, or chili served with red, white and blue tortilla chips. Or you can get creative, and serve red, white and blue popcorn; (left- and right-) chicken wings; donkey, elephant, flag and star-shaped cookies; and more.

For entertainment, presidential trivia contests are fun and relatively nonpartisan, and for children, you can stage games of pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey/elephant. Political junkies can submit their 50-state electoral projections to win door prizes such as vintage campaign memorabilia or red, white and blue ribbons. Assuming political differences don’t get in the way, a balloon drop is an inexpensive and easy way to celebrate the final outcome.

When the night is over, make sure to recycle, whether or not the Green Party makes inroads. And instead of tossing those t-shirts, campaign caps and other election-themed goods into the dustbin of history, bag them up with anything else you no longer need and contact for a pickup. Your donations will help fund valuable veterans’ programs and keep trash out of landfills.

Many Happy Returns!