Veterans Put the ‘Fun’ in Fundraiser

Regular followers of The Organizing Blog know that #donations of used clothing and household goods to go toward programs that help #veterans pay for food, housing, health care and other necessities.

But did you know that Vietnam Veterans of America’s local chapters throughout the country also host #fundraisers that get veterans more involved with each other and their communities — while also helping veterans in need?

Veterans put the “fun” in fundraisers with parades, car shows, barbecue cook-offs and more. In doing so, they sustain chapter outreach and good works in the community, supplementing and building upon the proceeds from #donations of used goods.

Texarkana Chapter 278, for example, hosts a Wagons for Veterans fundraiser that gives locals a taste of the chuckwagon-style cooking of the Old West. The all-you-can-eat feast draws thousands of patrons for a full day of festivities every year.

Chapter 116 in Leominster, Mass., holds a fundraiser that sells locals guesses as to when a mannequin seated on a lifeguard’s perch, “Rocky,” will fall through pond ice during the spring thaw. The closest entry to the exact time wins $500, and veterans get the rest.

Many chapters sell flags, wreaths and walkway bricks to place in honor of those who served. Some hold outdoor festivals, 5Ks and charity motorcycle rides. And more host luncheons, dinners and dances, often inviting interesting guest speakers.

In addition to supporting member veterans, every chapter uses some of the money raised to give back to its community. They award college scholarships to local students, march in parades, build memorials, donate to local food pantries and much more.

If you can attend a local event, great! You’ll take part in the fun. But also remember that every time you #declutter and contact for a free #donation #pickup, you are #donating not just to area #veterans, but to the entire community.

Another Task for Your Holiday To-Do List

As the holidays kick off in earnest, you’ll have a host of tasks to deal with: Decking out your home, inside and outside, in a manner appropriate to the season. Buying gifts for the many family members, friends and colleagues on your list. Baking holiday cookies and other culinary delights. Somehow making time for that office party or Nutcracker.

There’s another holiday task that can help bring cheer to any number of people you may not know personally, though: Boxing up lightly used clothing items and household goods and donating them to area thrift stores via

The benefits of a donation are threefold. First, your donations will help provide people with the things they need for their own holiday festivities. While that sweater, dress or small appliance might no longer be of much use to you, it might represent a real “find” for another person who’s out browsing in search of a perfect outfit or gift.

Next, you’ll declutter your home for the holidays. Are your closets and crawlspaces crammed with clothing and goods you haven’t used in months? Chances are that when you go looking for that wreath or string of lights, you’ll find box after box of stuff you just don’t need. Pull it out and call You’ll create space for the new stuff you’re going to get this season, and impress your guests with a clean, organized home.

And finally, the proceeds from your donations will go toward programs that make the season a little brighter for the nation’s veterans. Programs that help house, clothe, feed and celebrate the men and women who have fought to keep the nation free depend on these funds, and many veterans will have a happier holiday thanks to your donations.

’Tis the season for giving, so as you dust off those decorations and ready your home for the holidays, don’t forget the veterans. Call and spread the cheer!