Discounts Thank Veterans for Their Service

One way businesses salute the nation’s veterans and current service members is to offer them special discounts on Veterans Day. Chains such as Baker’s Square, Red Robin and California Pizza Kitchen offer a free meal with proof of service, while retailers such as Walgreen’s, Dollar General, Target and Publix will offer percent-off and other deals over the long weekend. What’s more, the national parks will waive admission for everyone this Veterans Day — and give disabled veterans free Lifetime Access Passes in gratitude for their service.

Celebrating Veterans Day in the Nation’s Capital

There are plenty of ways to celebrate Veterans Day in the nation’s capital, Washington.org says. An annual wreath-laying ceremony at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall will honor those who gave their lives in Vietnam, and memorials dedicated to the U.S. Navy, Air Force and Marines will also host thousands of visitors. Museums often have special programming for the event, and there’s usually no charge for veterans and current service members. And the Washington National Cathedral will host a tribute concert to veterans on the eve of the holiday featuring its choir and the U.S. Marine Orchestra.

The Best Ways to Observe Veterans Day

Veterans Day is Monday, Nov. 11, and there are as many ways to celebrate those who served as there are veterans — and there are almost 18 million living in the U.S. To honor their service, Military.com suggests, host a special luncheon, recognize veterans in a company newsletter, share their stories, and honor family members who made sacrifices in support. Another great way to show your appreciation? Help out a local veteran service organization (VSO) by volunteering, donating and/or building awareness on veterans’ behalf. Local chapters of the Vietnam Veterans of America can help you get started!

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.