Today's Friday Five is in honor of Memorial Day weekend. 5 easy ways you can show kindness to our men and women in uniform, those that have served and those that continue to protect us.
1. Do you have DVDs taking up space in your closet or a pile of them stacked in the corner of a room? I do. I have in the past dropped them off at the Friends of the Library for their annual sale but wanted to share another option I just found out about: Dvds4vets.org sends films to more than 1000 veterans facilities to benefit our wounded soldiers. I love this way to help brighten the lives of others, recycle and bonus it's giving me much needed inspiration to clean my closet.
2. Operation Gratitude is a great organization that makes care packages for military personnel with letters, snacks and toiletry items. FYI they save us from ourselves too as they take Halloween candy!
3. Are you a member of an airline frequent flier program? The Hero Miles Program provides round-trip airline tickets to wounded, injured, and ill service members and/or their families who are undergoing treatment at a military or VA medical center; or who are attending an authorized event. I know I have miles on a few different airline FF programs and I dare say I will never reach the amount for a free trip so why let the miles go unused. Some programs don't roll-over the miles each year so make a note on your calendar to check and donate if you can.
4. Still one of my favorites are Blessing Bags. My goal is to make a few a month of these and pass them out to those in need in my local community (Sadly, veterans are overrepresented in the homeless population in America.) Putting these bags together is a great project to do with kids (your own whippersnappers, Girl Scout Troops or Boy Scouts, Sunday School Class) to teach them about helping others. You'll need a few Gallon Size Ziploc Bags and the stuff (The $1 store is great place to find stuff for your bags and on your next trip save those hotel courtesy lotions, etc.) I got into a conversation with my Dr. the other day and was telling him about these bags and he gave me $20 to make a couple up on his behalf. Wasn't that cool?! So here's Dr. D.'s bags...
Some ideas for items to include...
Packages of tissues
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Soap (place in a separate bag in a bag so it doesn't go near foods)
Nuts or Trail Mix
Raisins, Applesauce, Fruit Cup
Protein or Granola Bars
Tuna or Chicken Salad Kit
RTD Protein Shakes
First Aid Kit
Coins or a couple of bucks
Grocery Store or local Restaurant Gift Card (even remainders of cards w/ amount noted are welcomed)
Depending on the weather in your area you could also put in a Warm Pair of Socks, a Rain Poncho, Hot Hands (I love these)
5. If you are remembering our military this weekend by attending a Memorial Day parade here's oodles of healthy Red, White & Blue recipes and more to come home too.
Thank you to those who serve and have served and their families.