Party Food

10 Ways Kids Can Honor Veterans

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When Mike, Sam and I finished our cruise a few weeks ago, we spent a night in an Orlando airport hotel before flying home. That night, in our room, Mike suddenly said, “What’s that noise?” It sounded like clapping. There was a balcony on our room that opened to the interior of the airport terminal. We opened the balcony door and saw that the entire airport had come to a standstill. Everyone was on their feet and clapping with such purpose and respect. We could see about 20 service men and women making their way to their gate. We joined in. It brought tears to my eyes. It does now, even as I write this. It was something I will never forget.

10 Ways Kids Can Honor Veterans

Our choices, our actions make a difference. Some of those choices affect many people, for a lifetime. That is especially true for soldiers who serve their country. Any day is a good day to show appreciation for our soldiers’ sacrifices, but Veterans Day is a set-aside time to honor their service.

This Veterans Day, we are supporting the Love the GIVE #GIVE2VETERANS campaign. Every time someone uses the #GIVE2VETERANS hashtag to support veterans and their families, the Love the GIVE foundation is donating $1 to the Bob Woodruff Foundation, up to $500K.

A little background…the Bob Woodruff Foundation is a nonprofit dedicated to supporting injured service members and their families, even long after they return home. You might remember Bob Woodruff was reporting on U.S. and Iraqi security forces for ABC’s World News Tonightin 2006 when he was severely injured by a roadside bomb. After recovering from a traumatic brain injury, he and his wife established their foundation to raise awareness and support of the needs of military families as they return to their communities. Bob has also returned to reporting on issues all around the world.

Love the GIVE is a campaign of the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Foundation that celebrates the act of giving and encourages everyone to make philanthropy and community service a habit.

Veterans Day is a wonderful opportunity to teach our kids about honor and sacrifice. Here are 10 ways that kids can help show appreciation to our soldiers and vets:

  1. Write a thank-you letter and send it to a veteran; for younger kids, this can be something as simple as a crayon drawing of a smiling face with a big “Thank You” caption.
  2. Older kids can offer to do yard work or chores for a vet.
  3. Interview a vet; listen to their story of why they were willing to serve.
  4. Save allowance money or raise money to buy something like USO phone cards so front-line soldiers can stay in touch with family.
  5. Write an open “letter to the editor” of your local newspaper and tell why you’re thankful for our veteran soldiers.
  6. When appropriate, and Mom or Dad are present, tell a serviceman or woman in uniform “thank you”.
  7. Go to a Veterans Day parade and cheer extravagantly for the soldiers.
  8. Make an “I care basket” filled with personal needs goods like disposable razors, shampoo, socks, etc., and deliver it to a local veteran’s hospital.
  9. Support veteran’s activities. For example, show your support for your local Legionnaire baseball team—fun stuff any game day!
  10. Visit a veteran; take them a homemade treat to say “thanks”.

Sam didn’t quite understand that moment in the airport. We’ve been trying to explain the complexities of the world in the most age appropriate way for a six year old. Sometimes I am at a loss of how to approach things. I used the opportunity to make red, white and blue cupcakes with him as a conversation starter about the importance of recognizing the sacrifices that service men and women — and their families — make. It’s a simple cupcake idea that ‘most any soldier would appreciate:

Patriotic Red White and Blue Cupcakes

Red, White and Blue Red Velvet Cupcakes

Choose your favorite red velvet cake mix. Plus it up with eggs, oil and milk (instead of water) for a homemade taste. Use red and blue cupcake wrappers. Pipe on blue icing with a #3 tip and embellish the top with white candy stars.

Veteran's Day Cupcake Idea

Make your delivery with a smile, a hug and a heartfelt “thank you.”

Patriotic Cupcakes

Make a difference by giving back to the soldiers who have given so much. Please remember to show your support for our veterans by using the #GIVE2VETERANS.

Stephanie Keeping

Stephanie is in love with a boy named Sam. He has taught her that it's okay to jump first and look later, to wear a dirty shirt to the park and to decide that today is a good day to take a nap in your rubber boots. She hangs out here blogging at Spaceships and Laser Beams and at our printable party shop on Etsy.