Howdy folks! I know we’re hot off the recent Fall Volunteering Guide, but we wanted to give a quick shout out to our Veterans and highlight all of the Veteran’s Day volunteer opportunities available in and around the district.
The VA is your first stop for Veterans-focused volunteer opportunities, and they’ve laid plenty of opportunities out for us, making it really easy for folks to pitch in on this upcoming federal holiday. Click here to fill out the volunteer form.
Collaborating with the VA, the White House has a solid platform for volunteer opportunities at United We Serve, and they kick into high gear around big volunteer days, such as Veteran’s Day. From supporting homeless vets and providing transportation for veterans in need, to sponsoring welcome home ceremonies for our returning vets, there are plenty of opportunities to get involved in the larger scale effort that the VA and White House have already set in action.
Paralyzed Veterans of America is calling for volunteers on Veterans Day, and every other day of the year. They have chapters in DC, VA, and MD. Check out their volunteer page for more information on how to become involved.
The Mission Continues is volunteering in Havre de Grace, MD with Habitat Humanity and is partnering with the Norfolk 1st Platoon and Team Rubicon in Portsmouth, VA for a day of building.
No time to volunteer today, but still want to make a difference? The Washington Post has a list of places where you can celebrate Veterans Day and donate to veterans organizations, such as heading to Port City Brewing, where 10% of all sales will be donated to charities that work with veterans.
If you don’t have Veteran’s Day off, but would like to volunteer your time on other days, here’s a list of more great Veterans organizations to get involved with:
Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors – TAPS is a great organization that provides support to family members of veterans who we killed in combat. Volunteer opportunities range from peer mentor to retreat host, and they’re always looking for more help to support their mission.
Hire Heroes USA – Hire Heroes helps veterans find employment, as one of the biggest challenges for many veterans after returning to civilian life is gaining the skills necessary to re-enter the workforce. You can volunteer with Hire Heroes to help veterans prepare for employment with mock interviews, coordinating special events, or photographing professional headshots, to name a few opportunities.
Arcadia Farms – Yes, I have mentioned Arcadia in nearly every volunteer guide I’ve done, but I promise it’s for good reason. They’re an awesome non-profit out there doing amazing things, especially when it comes to our local vets. Arcadia recently kicked off their Veteran Farm Fellowship Program, in which they offer a one-year, intensive on-farm training program with a second year of paid training, pending funding, to a handful of lucky local vets. Applications for the 2016 fellowship are closed, but Arcadia also offers the Veteran Farmer Reserve Program (a less intensive, weekend-instruction program for budding farmer veterans), and the Veteran Farm Access Program, in which Arcadia supports veteran farmers through acting as an intermediary to help them gain favorable leases and sell their produce in the DC area. Check out their site for more veteran activities, and don’t forget there are plenty of volunteer opportunities for non-veterans, whether it be tending to their Alexandria farm or working events in DC aimed at supporting farmer veterans and improving food security across DC.
The American Legion highlights many great volunteer opportunities, for veterans and those of us looking to support veterans alike.
VetTechTrek helps veterans gain access to employment in the tech community through hosting field trips (treks) for veterans to visit local technology companies. Their treks provide vets with the ability to gain connections and mentors in the tech world. If you work at a tech company in the area, consider hosting a trek.
Veterans on the Rise has many volunteer opportunities to help them in their mission of providing mentorship and temporary housing to homeless vets and other vets in need of services and support.
Patriot Flight – Many veterans don’t have the means or ability to visit Washington DC and the memorials that honor their service and provide it with added meaning. You can donate to Patriot Flight, and help sponsor a flight for a veteran from the Northeast to come visit DC’s memorials.
Canine Companions for Independence is an awesome organization that pairs well-trained pups with disabled veterans. Volunteer opportunities range from puppy raising (yes please!) to working some of their events.
Volunteer your skills as an electrician or plumber, web designer or photographer to support The American Veteran Foundation in their mission.
You can always donate to one of the amazing organizations listed here, or many others, such as the USO of Greater Washington.
Not a volunteer opportunity, but vet-related: have y’all seen the Library of Congress ads on the Metro? They’re requesting that folks interview veterans and share those vets’ stories for the Veterans History Project. Especially calling WWII vets. In its own way, it’s a great way to give back. Info on how to partake here.
Fun fact, ever been curious as to the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day? Memorial Day honors those who have died in service to our country, while Veterans Day honors all veterans, especially those living today. So, regardless of your politics, get out there and honor those who’ve fought for our country with a hug, donation, welcome home ceremony, or all of the above — they deserve some thanks.