Today is Veterans Day. Here are a few ways you can help out. 

Beyond the Yellow Ribbon

Beyond the Yellow Ribbon was an initiative started to help Minnesota veterans returning from war reintegrate into their communities. They assist veterans and their families by connecting them to local resources for job training, mental health, family counseling and financial assistance; to name just a few. Locally, Beyond the Yellow Ribbon has teamed up with the Central Minnesota Warrior to Citizen Project to help soldiers and their families before, during and after deployment. You can help by sending care packages to soldiers deployed overseas, donating to an organization that has teamed up with Beyond the Yellow Ribbon, or by sponsoring a family and assisting them with household chores, child care, or just sharing a meal.

Wounded Warrior Project

The Wounded Warrior Project is a national organization that helps wounded veterans by raising public awareness about the needs of injured soldiers, connecting injured service members with each other and providing programs and services to meet the needs of injured soldiers. They also help by offering mental health assistance for soldiers to get used to their new body, how to care for their new body parts, higher education, and employment assistance. Just a few ways you can help by volunteering, sending a thank you note, patronizing businesses that support WWP, or by making a donation.

Minnesotans Military Appreciation Fund

Minnesotans’ Military Appreciation Fund is a statewide program for Minnesota’s veterans and their families started by Minnesotans to show our service members how much we appreciate them and the sacrifices they make. The MMAF gives a cash grant to every Minnesota service member from any branch of the military serving in a combat zone. You can help by patronizing the businesses that support the MMAF and also by making a donation.

Disabled American Veterans

I was very fortunate to come from a long line of service members and all of them came back in one piece. Others weren’t so lucky. That’s where the Disabled American Veterans comes in. The DAV provides free professional help for veterans and their families to get them the benefits and services they earned through their military service. They also provide outreach and support for disabled veterans and their families and deliver a mission of hope into the communities where these veterans and their families live. You can help by making a financial donation, by volunteering your time to drive disabled veterans to appointments, volunteering at a VA Hospital, hiring a disabled vet to work at your business, by simply saying thank you to a veteran and by supporting businesses that support the mission of the DAV.

Operation Finally Home

Operation Finally Home was started in 2005 with the mission to provide Americans the ability to honor and thank America’s wounded and disabled veterans and the widows of the fallen. Sadly, returning wounded veterans face struggles many of us will never know. From mental and physical wounds, substance abuse issues, to financial hardships and homelessness just to name a few. What Operation Finally Home does is helps our returning soldiers by addressing the most pressing need of our returning heroes  — a home to call their own! Operation Finally Home builds homes for wounded veterans and also outfits their current housing that’s modified with wider door frames; roll in showers, wheelchair ramps, etc to help them live in familiar surroundings. You can help by making a financial contribution or by becoming an OFH Builder Partner, developer partner, building supply partner and by hosting a fundraising event in your community.

Veteran of the Month

You can also help out local veterans by nominating a Veteran of the Month!