Parents want their kids to learn how to give back to others, but sometimes it’s a challenge to know how to do that effectively.
When my kids were growing up, from the time they were toddlers, they worked alongside us to gather groceries for the local food pantry, they were with us as a family when we collected used coats from the neighborhood for the homeless shelter and they helped us buy toys for the Marine Corps “Toys for Tots” program, handing them off to a handsome Marine in the store. The result is that they grew up thinking of others during the holidays and today, they give back in proactive ways to communities both home and abroad.
Those children are now young adults and they still give back in amazing ways. Three of them serve in the Army, Air Force and Marines and the others help support Heroes at Home, a 501 (c) (3) that provides financial education for military members.
The Tuesday after Thanksgiving is “Giving Tuesday” when there is an effort across the nation to give back to our communities. In 2017, the Heroes at Home Financial Eventwill provide 25 presentations at 17 bases around the world including:
- Joint Base San Antonio Randolph AFB – San Antonio, TX
- Sheppard AFB – Wichita Falls, TX
- Peterson AFB – Colorado Springs, CO
- Joint Base Charleston – Charleston, SC
- Shaw AFB – Sumter, SC
- Wright Patterson AFB – Dayton, OH
- Hanscom AFB – Bedford, Mass
- Malmstrom AFB – Great Falls, Montana
- Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson – Anchorage, Alaska
- RAF Alconbury – Huntington, England
- RAF Mildenhall – Suffolk, England
- Spangdalem AFB – Germany
- AWAG -American Workers Around the Globe – Edleweiss Resort -Garmisch-Partenkirchen
- Aviano AFB – Italy
- Offut AFB – Omaha, NE
- Joint Base Andrews – Prince George’s County, Maryland
- Ramstein AFB – Germany
These events feature four top level financial speakers, a live twitter party (with prizes for the best tweets) and thanks to our non-profit’s presenting sponsor, USAA, we are able to give away over 100 door prizes, including copies of my financial books.
When our service members learn how to manage their money, then it helps with military readiness because these members are less likely to lose security clearances due to financial problems. This allows them to do their jobs.
Last year, my family and I participated in a fundraiser to help Walmart donate $1 million to Fisher House Foundation, which for the past 25 years has provided a home-away-from-home for military and veterans’ families whose loved ones are in a nearby military or veterans hospital. In my visits to Fisher House and my work with them, I’ve seen how important this is to military families.
Another way my family is giving back is through the Greenlight A Vet campaign to help create visible support for veterans nationwide. We can show support for veterans this season by changing one light bulb in our home to green, raising awareness on social media, volunteering and serving with veteran groups in their community, or starting a mentor/mentee relationship with a veteran.
How are you going to give on Giving Tuesday?