This is a guest post by Isabella York who works and writes for the Balsam Hill Christmas Tree Company. If you would like more information about the charities listed below, check out their websites and links. Please be sure to leave a comment if any great ones should be added to this list.
The members of the US military are the unsung heroes of every generation. They knowingly endanger their lives for the good of our country, and their cause is a noble one. When my friend’s husband was serving in the military, Christmas became a lonely time for their family, and I can only imagine how lonely her husband and all of the troops overseas were as well. This prompted me to search for ways to support our troops specifically during the holiday season, and through these efforts I found several charities that are dedicated to ensuring that the love of family and friends reach our men and women out in the field.
When soldiers leave to serve overseas, children are often the most affected. If they are really attached to their dad, having him away for prolonged periods of time can be emotionally traumatizing. When I found this charity online I was really touched by their efforts to reach out to kids who had one or both parents serving in the forces. For these children, Salute Our Services offers recreational activities, such as camping, tutoring, and music classes, and also seek to alleviate any additional expenses such outings can entail for the family. I found it amazing that donations were sent directly to children who belonged to the donor’s neighbourhood; that way, a tighter community is built.
Another charity that caught my eye was Soldiers Angels, because two particular projects, “Wrapped in Holiday Spirit” and “Blankets of Belief” are really heart warming. This group of volunteers uses donations to create handmade blankets with inspirational messages that inspire our troops out on the field. They send these blankets in a mini package filled with other goodies like sweets and holiday cards to our brave soldiers at Christmas time. This is really a nice addition even for soldiers who do receive packages from families because anyone who has ever served during a holiday will tell you how special any package is even if it only contains socks and other things you might consider not very exciting!
All families with a loved on at war worry about the possibility of grave injury, and maybe even death. This charity helps soldiers who have sustained serious injury to recover and re-build their lives through financial aid. They build a strong support network composed of charity alumni via annual holiday activities that foster friendship. These contacts are vital in helping people with injuries recover faster and find hope even in the face of insurmountable odds.
During the holidays, we often take for granted to caring and compassionate atmosphere and having family and friends around to make each moment even more special. Everyone can appreciate a hot Christmas dinner made even more delectable by the company of those we love. I was pleased to come across this organization whose main objective is to supply our army personnel with much-needed supplies during the holiday season, in the form of care packages and holiday cards. Many soldiers in the field do not have the comforts of Christmas, and this charity seeks to alleviate that problem. It even has volunteer opportunities in helping to prepare the meals, so each dish that is delivered is handmade and heartfelt. Who knows, I might take part this year… I make great chocolate fudge!
The aim of Patriotic Pillow Project is to provide a handmade holiday pillow for troops to remind them of the people who care, as well keep them strong through a very trying time. The fact that each cushion is hand crafted by volunteers who believe in these brave men and women makes a huge difference. These pillows are as attractive as they are useful. Now our troops can enjoy dreams of victory lying on the hopes of their countrymen; what a touching way to show that we care!
These charities never fail to point out one thing: When one family member is called to duty, the entire family serves. These organizations are vital in providing support and care not only for our brave troops but also for the people they have left behind. It’s the love of families and the care and concern of others that carries our troops through any lonely Christmas.
Isabella York is a mother and wife who greatly appreciates the service of our military men and women. Recognizing the importance of her family in her own life and the struggles of friends with soldiers who are overseas during the holidays, she has made it a mission to learn about any and all ways to reach out to service men and women during these times. Along with raising her son, she works for Balsam Hill, a purveyor of Artificial Christmas Trees.
(photo credit: Shutterstock)