Today is Veterans Day, a day we devote to remembering both active soldiers and veterans of the armed forces around our country. We owe our veterans our lives for protecting us at home and abroad and are forever in debt to them.
The sacrifices our forces make for us each day are unimaginable for those of us who have not served, but there are many ways to show our gratitude for the sacrifices veterans have made. Beyond financial donations, there are other ways to show support towards our veterans, including electronics donations. There are many foundations and movements that can use technology practices and devices to give back to our vets both domestically and actively fighting for our country, but here are three starting points.
Tech for Troops Project
Tech for Troops is a project based in Richmond, Va., specializing in the collection and refurbishment of older electronics from citizens and organizations. These refurbished electronics are donated to veterans and veterans support organizations nationwide. Citizens are able to donate their older devices at any of the designated drop-off sites for the organization. Tech for Troops is currently in need of laptops and their respective charging cables, desktop computers, networking equipment, monitors, keyboards, mice, tablets and cellphones. Tech for Troops has worked with veterans organizations such as Marines Helping Marines, Association for Wounded Veterans and Veterans’ Employment Program. As well as electronics refurbishment, Tech for Troops offers beginner training, internships and networking opportunities for veterans who are interested in a technology career.
Red River Foundation and Keeling Foundation VetTech.Us
Red River Technology Foundation and the Keeling Foundation’s VetTech.Us initiative are both projects that work to finance and to provide veterans’ education in technology sciences as well as e-waste recycling. The Keeling Foundation offers certified classes to counsel veterans in e-waste management as well as technology management. Volunteers with the Keeling Foundation have the option to make a donation, and/or sponsor an electronics collection site. The Red River Technology Foundation works to provide financial support for veteran’s continuing their education, as well as emergency monetary assistance for veterans transitioning to civilian life. The Red River Technology Foundation offers many yearly events and partnerships to sponsor veterans, including the Rock Your Camo 5K, Operation Hat Trick and Friends of Veterans. For more information regarding Vet Tech, visit here and Red River Technology Foundation, visit here.
Cell Phones for Soldiers
Cell Phones for Soldiers works to collect unused cell phones, tablets and mp3 players for soldiers. The organization hosts two programs, Minutes that Matter and Helping Heroes Home. Minutes That Matter provides troops with cell phones and calling cards. Through this program, soldiers are able to contact loved ones for no cost. Helping Heroes Home works with veterans making the transition back into civilian life by providing emergency monetary support. People who are interested in supporting this organization are able to donate gently used devices, donate financially, purchase calling cards or volunteer a device drop-off location.
All of the above organizations are data erasure certified and environmentally compliant. Beyond technology-oriented assistance, there are multiple other organizations devoted to assisting and thanking our veterans. Other organizations to donate to and volunteer with include the Wounded Warrior Project, National Veterans Foundation, Disabled Veterans National Foundation and the Veterans Support Foundation.
Our veterans and active military members have made more sacrifice for our safety and well-being than we can imagine. While we are forever indebted to them, there are more than enough ways to show our gratitude for their service. Although the organizations listed above provide resources for veterans, the most simple way to show gratitude is by saying “thank you” to veterans, active soldiers and their families.