Are you wondering how you can support a military family or veteran in your community, but you are worried you don’t have the funds to make an impact? Service members and veterans face many challenges, and the support of civilian neighbors makes a big difference in their ability to thrive. However, you don’t have to spend a lot to show you care. Here are five budget-friendly ways you can make a difference in the life of a military family or veteran.
Carpool with a military family
When a spouse is deployed, the parent who stays behind functions like a single parent. For months, the military spouse is in charge of looking after the kids and house all on their own. It’s a lot for anyone to handle, and worrying about a deployed soldier only makes it harder on military spouses. You can lighten your neighbor’s load by offering to drive their children to school and extracurricular activities along with your own kids.
Show your gratitude with a care package
Whether you mail it to a service member abroad, gift it to a veteran, or share it with a military family, a care package is a wonderful way to say, “Thank you.”
Luckily, the items deployed troops appreciate the most are inexpensive — lip balm and batteries might not seem like luxurious gifts, but they’re precious comforts to soldiers abroad. As for veterans and military families stateside, ask what they need around the house, and shop at low-priced retailers to buy basics at affordable prices. You can always find a sale at big-box stores like Kohl’s, and if you pair in-store discounts with Kohl’s coupon codes, you can pay well under retail for quality basics like cookware and school supplies.
Buy from brands that support veterans
There’s another way you can support the military with your shopping: Buying from brands that support veterans. You can shop with companies owned by veterans, companies that hire veterans, and companies that donate to nonprofits supporting veterans. If you don’t have money to donate directly to a cause, doing your regular shopping with pro-veteran brands like Walgreens, Starbucks, and Clif Bar is a no-cost way to make an impact.
Help a veteran with health care
It’s no secret: Figuring out your health care is difficult, and the situation is compounded when you’re a veteran. Between VA benefits and Medicare, it’s often confusing for them to understand what’s covered and what’s not. So, take an afternoon or evening and put your heads together — as a team, you can determine what they may need. If they require more coverage than the VA and Medicare provide, then they may need to look into something like Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan F and Plan G. Both plans will cover many costs, including Plan A deductible and Part B coinsurance and copayments. At the end of the day, it’s important to discuss what they need, what they can afford, and what suits their healthcare needs.
Invite a military family over for dinner
Sometimes, the best thing you can offer is a personal connection. Since military families move frequently, it can be challenging to form relationships with classmates and neighbors. Inviting a military family over for dinner is a wonderful way to make them feel welcome and a chance to offer tips about settling into their new community.
Don’t have time to prepare a big meal? Mimic a catered dinner at a fraction of the price by ordering entrees and party platters from Whole Foods. With cooking out of the way, you can focus your energy on getting to know your new neighbors.
Military bases and overseas conflicts make it seem like the military live in a world separate from the rest of us. In truth, military families and veterans are our neighbors, classmates, and coworkers, and they need our support to cope with the demands of military life. With these budget-friendly ideas, anyone can afford to lend a hand to the service members in their community.
Image via Unsplash
Post by Kelli Brewer