One of the most powerful ways to observe Veterans Day is to celebrate our heroes in a creative and thoughtful way with crafty ideas. Operation Gratitude is a non-profit organization that annually sends 100,000 care packages to active duty U.S. Service Members. Packages are filled with snacks, entertainment, gifts, and personal letters of appreciation. Check out some ideas below to get involved:
Help your heroes keep warm this winter! Knitting and crocheting scarves for U.S. Service Men and Women are in high demand. Operation Gratitude accepts scarves from September through early December of each year. Have fun with it—pick a random pattern, a bunch of colors, or any other creative design you can think of! This is a great craft for knitting beginners. Operation Gratitude receives ALL types of scarves knitted from whatever fibers volunteers care to use.
Cool Ties made from camouflage bandannas (outinstyle.com)
For the warmer months, make a unique Cool Tie for a beloved active-duty soldier. Each Cool Tie is made from 100% cotton and carries something unique inside: water-absorbing polymer granules. These granules draw moisture to the fabric surface. Even during hot and humid weather, a Cool Tie can evaporate the trapped moisture, resulting in a cooler body temperature. Let your imagination be your guide when selecting patterns! One popular suggestion is to take an ordinary bandanna, fold over the wide edge about an inch, and stitch the “hem” down to create a tube for the polymer granules.
Paracord Survival Bracelet
Paracord bracelets are a creative, stylish, and useful item for Veterans. Built from a durable parachute cord, a paracord bracelet is used by troops as a dependable tool to repair gear, fishing lines, tripwire, nets, traps, and other survival situations. Paracord bracelets are a symbol of support for the military and first responders. Some cord, simple measurements, a buckle, and a spark of creativity are all you need to make this unique and genuine gift.
Handmade Greeting Cards
Make a Veteran or active duty member feel extremely special, appreciated, and touched with a personalized handmade greeting card. Decorate cards with glitter, confetti, gel pens, paint—anything that sparks your artistic side! A simple “thank you” card with a few unique touches can go a long way for a soldier missing their family during the holidays.
Check out the collage of thank you notes and military photographs that the 101 Mobility® office created last year by checking out our blog post: 5 Ways to Serve Our Veterans and their Caregivers.