2021-2022 National Youth Activities Ambassador
What do children like to do?
Many Auxiliaries have a difficult time conceptualizing projects for the youth of their community. It’s not uncommon. Therefore, I want to challenge you to adapt activities that families, kids, grandkids, etc. enjoy, and share them with Veterans.
- Reading. Share your favorite books or magazines with Veterans.
- Sports. Offer to take a Veteran to a sports game (school or otherwise) or engage them in one of the sports in your yard or at the park.
- Playing Cards. You can play anything from Go Fish to Poker.
- Puzzles. During the pandemic puzzle swaps became popular. Organize and catalog donated puzzles then let everyone know what you have to swap.
- Listening to music. Create a playlist for a VA veterans home or other senior living facility.
- Spend some time fishing with a Veteran or at the very least, listen to some of their fishing stories. Everyone has a story about “the one that got away.”
Need a list of service-oriented activities? Have some suggestions ready to provide to your members:
- Yard Work. Lawn mowing, raking, weeding, gardening and planting flowers.
- Picking up/delivering a few groceries. No need to call Instacart. You can do it…you have to go there anyway, right?
- Dog Walking. Most dogs love to go on walks or play at the park. Offer to take your Veteran neighbor’s dog for a walk or go on a walk with them.
- Sending packages or cards to troops overseas. This is especially important around the holidays. We don’t want the men and women who serve us to think we’ve forgotten them during the most family-oriented time of the year. Local Auxiliaries can have pre-prepared cards ready at their Christmas gatherings for families to fill out while they wait to greet Santa.
- Cooking/Baking. Share a meal with a Veteran or get in the kitchen with them. Ask them to teach you their favorite recipes.
As parents and grandparents, we want our kids to think of others. Promoting these types of activities, where they are asked to serve Veterans, encourages our youth to make a habit of giving to and selflessly serving others…much like what our Veterans have done for us.
And remember, everyone respond well to words of praise so don’t forget to recognize individual youth with a Patriotic Youth Award or provide groups with a Youth Groups Supporting Our Veterans Citation. Both can be downloaded at vfwauxiliary.org/resources.
Good luck and go get ‘em!!