Thanksgiving is a time when people come together to express gratitude for the positive parts of their lives over the year. It’s also a time when many veterans across the United States dedicate their time and efforts to volunteer for the betterment of their communities. Veterans, accustomed to both service and how some holidays can seem more dour when separated from their families, continue to give back during the holiday season.
Veterans’ Thanksgiving volunteering can and often does take many forms. Some choose to serve at local soup kitchens or shelters, ensuring that those who are less fortunate can enjoy a warm meal and a sense of community during the holiday. Leadership, experience and discipline not only bring them forward to serve, but also aids in the organizing of distribution of food, setting up serving areas, and offering a sense of stability in what can be a chaotic environment. Something all of us who spent time in uniform can understand in our bones.
Some choose to stay closer to our own community, serving those brothers and sisters who wore that same uniform, but do not have as much support. They offer a different level of camaraderie, being more easily able to empathize and relate to their experiences.
Leaving the service does not end our obligations to each other, and to the country we swore to defend, and holidays are no exception. By volunteering during Thanksgiving, veterans not only contribute to the welfare of their communities but also find a sense of purpose and connection, which can be particularly meaningful during a holiday that emphasizes togetherness and gratitude, something we can sometimes forget in the day to day of our busy lives.
There are many opportunities to volunteer, but if you need some assistance we’re here to help. Started in 2021, the Grunt Style Foundation aims to serve the community in a myriad of ways, including sponsoring events raising money for food deployments and community actions.
Events coming up to support the holidays are listed on the link below, but there are two you should look into as they’re coming up soon.
4 November – Springfield, MO
“Grunt Style Foundation Deployments are small, repeatable processes that distribute meaningful services and resources in support of junior-enlisted service members and their families at select military installations across the United States.”
2 December – Missouri
“Join us for a 3-Gun Shooting Competition Event this December aimed at enabling America’s heroes to benefit from positive camaraderie, peer support, business networking, and the great outdoors. All sponsorship levels include tickets to shoot in this competition along our veterans.”
There are countless places to volunteer that can be found through online searches. These range from large organizations like Meals On Wheels, or the United Way, to many regional charities and organizations that provide support for your community.