As fun as it is to kick back on Memorial Day (think all-day pool parties and backyard barbecues), it’s waaaay too easy to lose sight of what the holiday is really about. Memorial Day is really meant to honor to women and men who have served and protected us through the military, but it’s easy to forget that when you’re in the Memorial Day moment. If you’re trying to keep your focus on the reason for the holiday, you might be wondering about where to volunteer on Memorial Day. Thankfully, opportunities are abound.
From volunteering in your local community to heading across the country to pay your respects, there are plenty of ways to show your appreciation for your fellow Americans on Memorial Day. As with any sort of volunteering, acts of service small and large can make a huge impact on Memorial Day when veterans and their families are at their most vulnerable. Something as simple as writing a thank you card to a veteran, flying a flag, or decorating with a poppy wreath can send a loud message of appreciation to women and men in the armed services — especially on a day that is so often overshadowed by leisure time. That said, there are a handful of very specific ways that you can give back on Memorial Day that are guaranteed to leave a lasting impact.
If you’re not sure where to begin, consider taking part in one of these volunteer opportunities on Memorial Day. They’re all fun, respectful, and guaranteed to celebrate the true spirit of the holiday.
1. Volunteer To Place Flags
Flag-planting efforts are popular all over the country on Memorial Day, and communities across the US are planning huge installations to show their support. Organizations in Louisville, Arizona, and others offer opportunities to show your support. Do a quick Google search to find an organization near you.
2. Join the #FlowerOnEveryGrave Movement
IAFF Local 64 assisted members of American Legion Post 188 this morning in placing flags at the gravesites of Armed Forces Veterans. pic.twitter.com/jUQSBO7Kpx— KCK FIREFIGHTERS (@KCKfire64) May 25, 2017
Veteran Associations across the country are participating in the Flower On Every Grave movement, which aims to leave no soldier’s grave unadorned on Memorial Day. If you’re looking for a way to honor those who have served this holiday, consider placing flowers on the graves of soldiers in your local cemetery.
3. Volunteer For A Local Parade
Perrysburg American Legion Post 28 will host the annual Memorial Day Parade at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, May 29, 2017 in downtown Perrysburg. pic.twitter.com/7J5CjckoMb— City of Perrysburg (@PerrysburgGov) May 25, 2017
Those patriotic hometown parades don’t just happen on their own. If you feel like volunteering in the presence of other people this Memorial Day, check in with your local Chamber of Commerce or Convention or City Council to see about donating your services to a parade. They usually need help with everything from logistics to directing traffic. Consult this Memorial Day parade finder for local parades.
4. Paint A Mural
If you fancy yourself the artsy fartsy type, lend your artistic sensibilities to an organization seeking help this Memorial Day. Get in touch with your local VA group to see if they could use mural services, free artwork, or web design work.
5. Participate In Mindful Memorial Day
Looking to reflect mindfully on the significance of Memorial Day? Consider heading to Washington D.C. to volunteer at the Nation’s Capital, where greeters, ribbon hangers, and Name Searchers are in high demand. Find more details via Mindful Memorial Day.
6. Volunteer At The Garden Of Flags In Boston
massteacher: RT OnlyInBOS: 2,977 American flags were planted at Boston Public Garden today in honor of the victims… pic.twitter.com/c2SuX6gULM— nasemta (@NASEmta) September 11, 2016
Volunteers are needed to place nearly 37,000 flags on Boston Common over Memorial Day weekend. The 37,000 flags represent each and every brave Massachusetts soldier who has given their life in service of the U.S. since the Revolutionary War. Planting begins Wednesday, May 24th at 1 pm, and the name reading celebration will be held Thursday, May 25th at 10:30 am. Volunteers are needed to place, watch over, and take down the flags throughout the weekend. Check out Garden of Flags for more information.
7. Donate Blood
Interested in paying your respects to the women and men who have served the country through combat? What better way to do so than to honor their sacrifice by donating blood? Many communities host blood drives throughout the weekend, so check your local Red Cross organization for listings.