What Your Donations Do for Veterans

If you’ve donated clothing and other household items to ClothingDonations.org in the past, you may be aware that your stuff helps fund programs that support veterans throughout the country. But do you know how, and what your donations fund?

When you give the things you no longer need, the Vietnam Veterans Association (VVA) resells them in bulk to partner thrift and secondhand stores, where other people can shop for great deals on lightly used stuff.

VVA takes the proceeds and uses them to underwrite range of programs. On the national level, the association helps veterans tap government benefits and health care guaranteed to those who have served, and lobbies on behalf of veterans in the nation’s capital.

Aware that war can have challenging health effects for decades after a deployment, VVA offers outreach programs to veterans suffering from Agent Orange exposure, homelessness, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance abuse.

It offers programs targeted to POW/MIAs and their families, minority veterans, women veterans, and justice-involved and jailed veterans. In other words, it is a comprehensive, wraparound service organization operated by and dedicated to Vietnam veterans.

As Vietnam veterans have aged and the country has continued to engage in overseas conflicts, VVA has expanded its mission to welcome veterans of all U.S. conflicts. “Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another” is its motto.

VVA programs are supplemented and supported at the local level by the organization’s more than 500 chapters nationwide. The chapters use some of the money raised through ClothingDonations.org to host educational and social events, honor veterans, and give back to their communities through parades, scholarships and sponsorships.

Last month, for example, dozens of VVA chapters celebrated National Vietnam War Veterans Day on March 29, hosting luncheons, memorial observances and educational programs around the country to thank veterans living and dead for their service.

While donations to ClothingDonations.org don’t pay for the entirety of the programs VVA offers, the money raised eases the organization’s fundraising burden while providing you — the loyal readers of the Organizing Blog — with an easy, earth-friendly way to get rid of your unwanted stuff.

The nation’s veterans appreciate every donation, and thank you for your support!

Honoring Military Service on Veterans Day

To honor the military for Veterans Day, get creative, Veterans United says. Send care packages and handwritten letter to active-duty troops around the world. Visit a VA hospital to learn about a veteran’s time in the service. If you’re a teacher or parent, develop a lesson or activity based on Veterans Day and invite a veteran to speak to the class. Wear a red poppy — even though this has become more associated with Memorial Day, the tradition started with Veterans Day. Shop at local veteran-owned businesses, or (if you already have too much stuff), donate to ClothingDonations.org.

Celebrities Who Served Their Country

The U.S. Census says there are about 18.8 million veterans nationwide, and about half are now over the age of 65. Many people served long before they were famous, Military.com says, including Johnny Cash, George Carlin, Steve McQueen and Morgan Freeman. Some of the most most famous Vietnam veterans are Colin Powell, Oliver Stone, Dennis Franz, Al Gore, Pat Sajak, Roger Staubach, John Kerry, Jesse “The Body” Ventura and of course, John McCain. Take a moment of silence to recognize all veterans — famous or not — on the nation’s 99th Veterans Day, Nov. 11, 2018.

Get Ready To Celebrate Veterans Day

This weekend, the United States will celebrate its 99th Veterans Day. President Woodrow Wilson initiated the tradition on the first anniversary of the end of The Great War (as World War I was known at the time), naming Nov. 11 Armistice Day. It was marked by a feeling of “solemn pride” for the military’s heroism, according to Newsweek, and was to be celebrated with parades and two minutes of reflection. Armistice Day became a legal holiday in 1938, and was renamed Veterans Day in 1954 to recognize those who served in World War II and the Korean War.

Grill Like a Pro for Memorial Day

Everyone loves a cookout, but not everyone knows their way around a grill. For the best results, follow a few simple pro tips. If using charcoal, skip the lighter fluid and instead start your coals using a chimney, Country Living says. Keep the grill lid down whenever possible to seal in heat and moisture, and create zones of high and medium heat on the grill surface. Try a dry rub or marinade on meats, and start with a clean, greased grate. And finally, don’t poke meat constantly to check for doneness; either invest in a digital thermometer or take the meat off the heat early — you can always put it back on if it’s still too rare.