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Show Your Gratitude

8 Easy ways to give back to our military


If you’d like to help…

Here’s what you can do…

And how it will make a difference

Military kids between ages 6 and 12

Donate $100 to the San Diego Armed Services YMCA and three military children will be able to attend Operation Hero, an after-school mentoring and tutoring program, for one week.

Many military kids exhibit low self-esteem and difficulty adjusting to new schools. Operation Hero provides them with tools to kick butt in the classroom and breeze through challenges

Female troops

Send lotions and lip balms via Operation Courage is Beautiful. For the full wish list, visit operationcourage.org. Mail items to Casey Chan-Ruthenbeck, 9871 Carmel Mountain Rd., San Diego, 92129.

As one soldier said in a thank-you, “Sometimes it’s hard being a female here because a lot of the general packages are designed for a man.” Acknowledge these women and send some love!

Families of wounded or fallen soldiers

Buy a Freedom Is Not Free t-shirt and baseball cap combo ($25) and wear your gratitude for their service to the country.

Proceeds fund grants that help families pay medical, travel, and household bills.

Young military families headed by a junior enlisted service member

Donate anything from a dining room table to baby formula to the San Diego Military Outreach Ministries. 619-461-4164.

The annual salary of a junior enlisted soldier falls between $18,000 and $29,000. Your donations lift their families’ economic burdens.

Soldiers living in harm's way

Knit beanies or send letters of encouragement with a donation made by check to Operation Caregiver, PO Box 722289, San Diego, 92172.

The money buys hygiene products—packaged with a beanie and letter—for soldiers who serve for months in foxholes, tents, and Humvees, far from fixed base camps.

Veterans in search of civilian jobs

Help vets access a range of jobs, from nursing to auto tech, by giving $100 to Veterans Village of San Diego.

VVSD’s job training programs include workshops on resume writing and interviewing.

Families of active-duty military

Buy a $50 gift card on your next visit to a chain store like Target or Walmart; mail it to Homefront San Diego, Attention: Phyllis Barber, 2115 Park Blvd., San Diego, 92101.

Emergency food requests are nonstop! Homefront distributes gift cards to Target and Walmart because they have more locations and are open later than commissaries.

Servicemen and servicewomen

Are you a Chargers season ticket holder who can’t make it to one of their games? Donate the tickets to USO San Diego, 303 A St. Ste. 100, San Diego, 92101. USOSD also accepts tix to plays, concerts, and other sporting events.

The tickets go to active- duty service members and their families to provide much-needed recreation and fun! (Go, Chargers.)


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