As part of my August Gives Back series and in honor of National Purple Heart Day, Day 7 is giving back with gratitude to our military.
There are several organizations that assist with helping you to get letters of greeting and gratitude delivered to our active duty military (as well as, in some cases, other groups such as veterans and First Responders). Here are a couple of organizations you can send your letters to, as well as tips for writing a great letter!
This is a great activity during your morning coffee, if you need a little more gratitude in your life. It’s also a great option for your REALTOR® Association (Leadership team, service committee, YPN, regional meeting, etc.), a great activity to do with your kids, or any organization of which you’re a member!
Write a Great Letter to Our Troops
If you don’t know any active duty military, organizations like Operation Gratitude, Support Our Troops, and A Million Thanks want to help you get your letters to our troops. They each offer tips for writing a great letter, but here are a few of the basics that they all have in common:
- Start with a generic salutation, such as “Dear Hero” or “Dear Brave One”
- Express your thanks for their service
- Avoid political and religious topics
- Share a little bit about yourself — who you are, what you do for a living, hobbies, pets, travel, sports — make it feel homey
- Do not date your letter
- No glitter or confetti
- Do not put letters or cards in individual envelopes — the organization will handle the packaging of letters
- No food or edibles
- Adults, feel free to include a return address, as the recipient may want to write back (EXCEPT SupportOurTroops.org — no last names or return addresses)
- Overall: be positive, respectful, thankful, and kind
This is also a great activity to do with your kids — be creative! Let kids draw pictures, include artwork (again, no glitter, please!) and make it a fun expression of patriotism. But please note: on kids’ letters, please include first names only, and return addresses should be in care of an adult.
Send Your Letters
Please check the site(s) of the organization(s) you are sending to, but for a quick reference, here are the addresses for the three I mentioned above:
ATTN: Letter Writing Program
21100 Lassen Street
Chatsworth, CA 91311-4278
Support Our Troops
13791 N. Nebraska Avenue
Tampa, FL 33613
A Million Thanks
17853 Santiago Blvd, #107-355
Villa Park, CA 92861
Please remember, these organizations can also use your donations for postage and other expenses, so if you feel so inclined please see their websites for donation information.