By Mariah Kline
This Veterans Day, you can do more than say “thank you for serving” on social media. Our local veterans need help in so many ways, but thankfully, there are thousands of people across the state who are working to make their lives easier. This week’s list has five ways you can actively participate in helping the servicemen and women who have worked to protect our country.
Give Them a Ride
Call the volunteer coordinator at 502.287.5351 M-F between 7:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. or visit louisville.va.gov/patients/dav.asp
Helping a veteran who is physically or financially unable to get themselves to their doctor’s appointments makes a huge difference. If you have a free morning or afternoon coming up, contact the VA to learn more about their volunteer transportation program, which operates in a number of counties in Kentucky and Indiana.
Support Our Women Veterans
Lady Veterans Connect is an organization that’s fighting to end the number of homeless women veterans. Last year they opened the Thurman-Abbott Home, a facility in Clark County that can house up to 30 veterans. These individuals have gone above and beyond to serve our country, but tragically, one in five of them have experienced sexual assault while serving, and they are twice as likely to develop PTSD as their male counterparts.
Buy Them a Service Animal
If you haven’t already heard about the great work that Dogs Helping Heroes is doing, now is the time. This nonprofit rescues and trains dogs then pairs them with wounded veterans, first responders or Gold Star Families. These pups not only assist with mobility, stability and everyday tasks, but they also provide incredible emotional support for those individuals suffering from PTSD. You can also volunteer with the organization to help train or foster the animals or help with their fundraising efforts.
Donate a car
Call 1.855.811.4838 or visit vehiclesforveterans.org/kentucky
Giving away a vehicle sounds like a tall order, but doing so can change the lives of veterans all across our state. Vehicles for Veterans accepts cars, trucks, boats, RVs and motorcycles, regardless of their age or condition. They arrange the pickup or towing of your vehicle even if it doesn’t run. The donation is completely tax deductible, and they can help with any IRS-related questions so you can receive the largest
Get involved with local veterans organizations
Call 502.636.0771 or visit wefoundationky.org or voamid.org
Every fall, the Warrior Empowerment Foundation holds Tribute to Troops to celebrate and raise funds for local veterans and veteran-oriented nonprofits, as well as active duty servicemen and women and their families. Volunteers of America, a national organization with a regional headquarters in Louisville, is also making a significant difference in the lives of veterans. They serve around 1,500 people each year, helping with social services, housing needs, addiction recovery and much more.