This month we’re focusing our reflections of gratitude on November’s second largest holiday, Veterans Day, taking place on the 11th.

We know you’re all thinking lots about this day because public schools will be closing their doors. But what you maybe haven’t thought about yet is the origins of this holiday, and why it’s so important to have strong awareness throughout the day of the hope, sacrifice, and courage that Veterans have shown in protecting our country, and what that has cost them.

Veterans can be anyone who has served in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, or Coast Guard. You’d be surprised how many Veterans are around you, and how many of those people are young individuals trying to find their way back into society. More often than not these transitions are painful. Finding a new career path can be difficult for some, as well as dealing with that physical and emotional wounds from combat, and separation from family. And while there are services for Veterans, it’s often times human connection that can make the most difference.

Firstly, always thank Veterans for their service and especially on Veteran’s Day. The best way we can help out Veterans is by acknowledging their sacrifices, and also by giving them a bit of normalcy. One way of doing this is by helping an active military member. In keeping military members overseas connected and engaged with life back home, perhaps we can alleviate some of the disconnect they may struggle with when returning, and therefore nurture healthier and happier Veterans. This month’s campaign is featuring two incredible organizations that make it easy for kids and families to make a difference for someone in need.

Choose whether you want to participate in Operation Gratitude (candy collection ends Nov 15) or Operation Shoe Box (ongoing) for this month’s campaign.

Items Needed for This Month’s Campaign 

(For Operation Gratitude)

  1. Leftover Halloween candy (or store bought candy if you’ve eaten it all!)
  2. Supplies to make a thank you card for service members
  3. A donation form you can fill out here:

(For Operation Shoe Box)

  1. A box to ship (U.S Postal Service has free priority mail boxes), plus shipping costs
  2. Items such as instant coffee, hard candies, current magazines, canned turkey and other holiday non-perishable food, holiday decorations, small toiletries, beef jerky, granola bars (see full list here)
  3. Supplies to make a thank you card


How to do this Month’s Campaign

(For Operation Gratitude)

  1. Pool your leftover Halloween candy and reach out to your friends! Donating candy to military is much better than throwing it away or giving it your dentist
  2. Make a thank you card to include thanking military personnel for their service. Draw a picture, or tell them what a hero means to you and why you appreciate them
  3. Check the website to see if there is a drop off location near you, or reference where candy be sent. Make sure to include a donation form that you can fill out online here:

(For Operation Shoe Box)

  1. Get your friends and or family together to make a care package! Add some personal touch, and imagine how exciting it will be for a military member to get your box
  2. Make a thank you card to include thanking military personnel for their service. Draw a picture, or tell them what a hero means to you and why you appreciate them
  3. Include a self-addressed postcard for your hero so that they can write you back and let you know they received your box! No need to add a stamp- they’ll have access to free postage anywhere in the U.S
  4. Send boxes here:

Operation Shoebox

PO Box 1465

Belleview, FL 34421-1465

5. Additional information here

Reflection Questions

  1. What defines a hero for you?
  2. What do you think military miss the most when they’re fighting overseas?
  3. Why do you think people fight in wars?
  4. Why do you think it’s important for the people you’ve donated to to receive those items?
  5. What are some ways we can thank veterans more once they’re home?