On Veterans Day, Let’s Serve Those Who’ve Served Us

This Veterans Day, let’s serve those who have served us by contributing to the Central Texas Food Bank, writing thank you notes, and backing a blues concert.

How you can help our veterans:

To thank a veteran: Remember that you are thanking a veteran, not active-duty troops.

  1. Start with a salutation such as “Dear Hero” or “Dear Brave Veteran.”
  2. Express your thanks for their selfless service.
  3. Do not include the date or year, and do not include the address if a child is writing.
  4. Avoid politics and religion, though saying you pray for them is fine.
  5. Share a little about yourself: families, hobbies, work, school, pets, travel.
  6. Talk about life and interests: sports, weather, music, movies, food, books.
  7. Consider drawing or painting a picture if you can’t find the words.
  8. Put all loose letters and cards in a large envelope and ship to: Operation Thank You Note, c/o Steve Adler, Post Office Box 302854, Austin, TX 78703.

More tips on writing letters to veterans can be found here, and here, and here. An organization called Operation Gratitude has a great FAQ on writing letters to troops and veterans here. Just about every question you can imagine is answered. (If you want to donate $15 so Operation Gratitude can send a care package to the troops, click here.)

To feed veterans: Donate money to the Central Texas Food Bank by clicking here. Between now and the end of the year, every dollar you donate will be doubled by matching funds!

Or you can drop off canned food or pallets of fresh produce at the Central Texas Food Bank headquarters between 8:00 A.M. and 5:00 P.M., Monday through Friday. For non-perishable food donations, an after-hours drop box is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, just outside the front entrance. If you collect more than 300 pounds of food, they will pick it up.

The Central Texas Food Bank helps veterans in two ways:

  1. First, about a quarter of all the households served by the Central Texas Food Bank have someone at home who has served in the U.S. Armed Forces or as a member of the military reserve or National Guard.
  2. Second, the Central Texas Food Bank operates a monthly Mobile Food Bank at the Central Texas Veterans Health Care System’s Austin Outpatient Clinic.

To house homeless veterans: Go to the Red, White & Blues 512 concert on Sunday to raise money for Austin’s homeless veterans. The concert, which features Shinyribs, Carolyn Wonderland, Mingo Fishtrap, and Nakia & the Blues Grifters. It’s at Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheater on Sunday, November 12 between 4pm and 8:30pm.  Tickets are free, but you should donate here. Or you can get the VIP experience by clicking here.