Observing POW/MIA Recognition Day today can be as simple as writing a card to a former POW, visiting a veterans home or donating to a veteran organization such as the Vietnam Veterans Association (VVA). Helping veterans through VVA’s ClothingDonations.org is easy: Gather up any lightly used clothing and household goods you no longer need or want and call for a free, contactless #donation pickup. VVA will resell your donated goods to thrift and secondhand stores and use the proceeds to help fund veterans programs such as the ones that identify and local MIAs’ cremains and give them a proper burial.
Whether you’re Irish or just Irish for the day, the first step in celebrating St. Patrick’s Day is to wear something green. If you don’t have anything suitable already, look no further than the local secondhand or thrift store. Supplied by generous donations to ClothingDonations.org, they’re a great source of inexpensive, lightly used garments — including T-shirts that feature the Gaelic toast Sláinte (“Health”), sayings such as “Kiss me, I’m Irish,” or the Guinness harp logo for a visit the corner pub, for example, or more work-friendly kelly-green polo shirts and neckties.
Many areas across the country are experiencing a fast end to the manageably crisp fall temperatures they usually enjoy, going from jacket weather to parka-and-longjohns overnight. Many areas that could expect highs to hover in the 50s are experiencing record-breaking lows; some already have a blanket of snow on the ground and below-zero wind chills.
The abrupt transition from seasonably cool to fantastically frigid likely took many readers (and this author) by surprise. Their best winter garments are probably still in storage or at the cleaners, leaving them to cobble together layered outfits to brave the cold or simply huddle indoors until the sudden cold snap passes.
If you haven’t yet bundled up, now’s a good time to start. Many retailers have announced Black Friday deals well ahead of the actual day, so you can buy yourself that new coat, sweater or blanket at a discount. Better still, you can find lightly used garments at area thrift stores supplied by ClothingDonations.org a fraction of their original retail prices.
Once you’ve got yourself covered, you’ll want to prepare for the worst. Winter storms could trap you inside for days, so make sure you have a good snow shovel and plenty of food and drinking water on hand, Simple Family Preparedness says. Stock up on wood for the fireplace and salt or sand for the sidewalks.
If an extended deep freeze is on the way, fill your gas tank to prevent fuel line freezes. Charge cell phones and fuel backup generators. Weather-strip drafty windows and doors. And refamiliarize yourself with the location of your home’s main water valve in case the pipes freeze and burst.
Most home winterization tasks are a matter of keeping snow, ice and prolonged below-zero temperatures from ruining the equipment that keeps your home climate-controlled in the first place. “Proper winterization involves a systematic review of your home’s HVAC equipment, as well as the critical structural and mechanical systems,” The Spruce says.
Check the furnace and replace filters. Cover your central air conditioning unit to prevent debris from getting in it. Inspect and clean the chimney and insulate exposed pipes against freezes. It’s a lot to get done — but once you do, you can ride out the cold winter months in calm and comfort. Get started before it’s too late!
If you bought so much #Halloween candy that you only have a little money left to decorate, there are plenty of ways to make your home look #spooky for scary-cheap. Make tombstones out of cardboard to turn your yard into a creepy #cemetery, haunt the trees and porch with few DIY spider webs (and giant spiders to match), make felt bats, or ghost-light your walkway with haunted luminaria, Money Crashers suggests. And remember: You can find lots of spooky supplies (including lightly used clothing for creative costumes) at thrift stores supplied by generous donations to ClothingDonations.org.
One of the best things to do as fall begins is get ahead on upcoming events on the cheap. Thrift stores stocked with donations from ClothingDonations.org can be a valuable resource for many fall events. Need a vintage dress for homecoming? Thrift it. Building a scarecrow for your fall festival? There is no place better than the thrift to find colorful, inexpensive clothing that can be stuffed with straw. Need a creative Halloween costume, or some ideas for one? Go directly to the thrift! Your purchases will fund valuable programs that help thousands of the nation’s veterans and their families.