VFW Day of Service

100 Ideas for Day of Service

From volunteer activities to community events, VFW members across the U.S. find ways to engage the public, raise awareness for veterans, and honor those who served by giving back on Days of Service. Here is a list of 100 ways you can implement a new community service event into your Post!

“You can’t walk in anyone else’s shoes. You don’t know where they’re at in their life. But, hopefully we’re able to bring a smile today. And, who knows what that does for them tomorrow.”

  1. Bunk Beds for Kids — Enlist of group of members or partner with a local organization to build bunk bed frames for children that don’t have beds. Organize a fundraiser to contribute to supplies and mattresses/bedding as well.
  2. Veterans’ Resource Fair — Host a veterans service officer to speak at your post about VFW assistance and invite representatives from a variety of service providers to present about their benefits for the veteran community.
  3. Benefits Day — Invite nonprofit and community organizations in the area to promote and present information to veterans about benefits programs they provide. Include special guests and local leaders such as the local general, mayor, fire chief, police chief, county judge, and VA officials for a daylong celebration event.
  4. Donate for Donuts — Host a blood drive at your Post for the local blood bank or Red Cross and provide donuts and coffee to those who participate.
  5. #StillServing Supper — Enlist volunteers from your Post to prepare and serve a free dinner for unhoused people or coordinate with your local community kitchen to help them do so.
  6. Find a Furry Friend — Hold a pet adoption event at the Post for a local pet rescue/shelter. As a sponsor, during the event your Post can distribute information and awareness for the VFW.
  7. Diaper Drive — Partner with your local children and youth services agency to collect donated diapers and baby wipes at your Post for local children in need.
  8. Helping Hands with JROTC — As a joint venture between VFW Members and local JROTC students, a select a veteran from the community that needs help with home improvements. Enlist the help of members and students to paint, do repairs, complete projects, and install hardware as needed. All the paint and supplies are donated and funded by the VFW Post.
  9. Send Off Hunger — Hold a three-day event supporting the USPS carriers’ food drive. On day one, volunteers deliver flyers around your area to promote the event. On day two, volunteers assist at a collection point loading food into a truck. On day three, volunteers assist in sorting donated food at the local food pantry.
  10. Adopt A Road — Organize volunteers to pick up roadside trash and clean up the grounds of your Post.
  1. Food for Families — Host a food drive and give the collected donations to military families in the area.
  2. In Memory Of — Organize a team to tidy up headstones and graves at a local cemetery. Connect with local cemetery managers to coordinate, identify and prioritize needs.
  3. Memorial Restoration — Recruit volunteers to spend a day repairing and restoring memorial markers in your area.
  4. Beach Beautification — Spruce up your local beaches by inviting families and groups to pick up and dispose of trash.
  5. Perk Up the Park — Hold an event to clean up your local park and playground with special promotions for community businesses that donate gloves, garbage bags, rakes and other cleaning supplies.
  6. Christmas Cheer — Collect gifts through local community drop-off locations for children and their parents in military families for an angel tree at your post.
  7. Visit A Veteran — Show that imprisoned veterans deserve our respect, too! Visit local incarcerated veterans to learn about their military experience and thank them for their service. Go the extra mile to identify any areas where VFW may assist, check on the welfare of their families, and add them to your Post’s mailing list for Christmas and on Veterans Day.
  8. First Responders’ Recognition — Hold a food drive in honor of first responders at your post and incentivize donors to meet local first responders there for selfie photo opportunities. Donate collected food to local families in need.
  9. Veterans’ Luncheon — Celebrate and honor veterans of all services in the community by hosting a luncheon where they are special guests.
  10. Benches for Bus Stops — Provide benches at bus or public transportation stops throughout your community and adorn each bench with your Post’s logo.

“What it’s all about is going out in the community and doing something to help veterans, to assist them.”

  1. Visit A Veteran — Brighten up a veteran’s day by visiting them at their assisted living facility. Play games, share a meal, engage them in conversation, create craft projects, and discuss their needs.
  2. Open House — Raise awareness by hosting families and community members for a special day to visit your VFW Post. The adults can enjoy coffee and snacks while learning about the work you do and various programs offered at your Post. For the children, you can offer face painting, a bounce house, take-home craft projects, and more.
  3. Headshots For Heroes — Host an event where veterans in need of professional headshots can get a free photo shoot provided by a local photographer.
  4. Pet Partners — Partner with a local rescue organization to host an animal adoption event at your Post or recruit volunteers for a dogs’ day out walking session at an animal shelter.
  5. Chili Cookoff — Feed the community and raise funds by hosting a chili cookoff at your Post. For $5, attendees can get a taste of each entry and vote for the best. Proceeds can benefit a local organization of your Post’s choosing.
  6. Beneficial Backpacks — Enlist your Post members to partner with the community to gather donations of basic necessities and backpacks. Hand out the filled backpacks to unhoused people or community members in need.
  7. Unite For Health — Invite your community to gather with an event at your Post centered around a health fair. Build relationships with local adult or community centers, churches, veterans service agencies, scout troops, and other public service organizations by inviting them to have booths at the fair. Invite local food vendors to provide samples and musicians to perform at the event.
  8. Fishing For Champions — Hold a fishing tournament competition with a portion a portion of entry fees going to local veteran organizations. Invite adults and children to participate in various categories and promote winners in your local news.
  9. Mentoring Matters — Coordinate mentoring for young people in the community with veterans by partnering with a local church and/or community center.
  10. Mental Health Motorcade — Hold a collection event with a motorcade making stops at collection locations. At each stop, the motorcade will pick up items donated for veterans in need and hand out info about mental health assistance for veterans.
  1. Fields of Dreams — Organize in the community to hold clean up events at local parks and baseball fields recruiting volunteers to eliminate overgrown vegetation and pick up litter.
  2. Veterans Helping Veterans — Challenge VFW members at your Post to reach out to local veterans in need. For example, they could provide emotional support, help with household tasks, assist with errands, and participate in leisure activities.
  3. VFW Fun Run (or Walk) — Have a community-centered fun run for all ages to raise money and awareness. At the event, distribute advocacy information, recruit new members, and answer questions about the PACT Act and other veteran legislation.
  4. Get Crafty — Hold a craft day at your local Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Lift the spirits of patients by helping them make patriotic craft projects and provide refreshments for volunteers and patients to enjoy together.
  5. Lunch On Us — Purchase and deliver meals to first responders in your area. Include special thank you notes from the Post.
  6. Honor an Ex-POW from the Vietnam War – Find an Ex POW to honor in your area.
  7. Patriots Paint — Identify someone in the area who needs assistance with getting their home painted and coordinate a group from your post to help them.
  8. Ramp It Up — Identify one or more community members who need a wheelchair ramp for their home. Get supplies donated from local businesses, then coordinate a group of volunteers to build and install the ramp.
  9. Habitat Help — Arrange a group from your Post to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity. Provide a home for someone in need when you build a house together.
  10. VA Day — Volunteer as an individual or group to help out as needed at your local VA Medical Center for a day. While helping, distribute informational materials and educate patients on VFW resources. — Put together a community drive for canned goods or hygiene items at local businesses. Hold a collection event with a motorcade making stops at collection locations. At each stop, the motorcade will pick up items donated for veterans in need and hand out info about mental health assistance for veterans.

“We are here to serve. We served in uniform and now we’re outside the uniform. It’s important that we give back.”

  1. Health Checkup — Host an event for the public to get their health in check and learn more about wellness resources. Showcase services available to the community, invite organizations to conduct health screenings, and offer vendors booths to promote resources.
  2. Letter Writing Campaign — Partner with a local school to arrange for students to write letters to veterans thanking them for their service. Pass them out to veterans at your Post.
  3. Memorial Day Breakfast — Host a breakfast at your Post before the Memorial Day parade. Open it up to everyone in the community and collect donations (money or nonperishable food) at the door. Then donate the proceeds and items to the local food bank.
  4. Visiting Veterans — Spend the day at local nursing homes and visiting homebound veterans. Bring games or activities to engage residents, offer refreshments and bottled water, and read to them.
  5. Keep Out the Cold — Organize a drive at your post to collect blankets. Partner with the local law enforcement and/or shelters to help distribute them to those in need.
  6. Basic Needs for Kids — Work with local schools to identify student needs for basic hygiene products. Host a drive at your Post for members and the public to donate items such as soap, deodorant, and shampoo; then give the items to the schools to distribute.
  7. Kids Craft With Veterans — Host a community gathering at a shopping center or mall. Kids are invited to pair up with a veteran to create wearable, patriotic themed crafts for the upcoming Memorial Day.
  8. Voices for Veterans — Invite VFW Members and their families to the Post for a special dinner with entertainment. Partner with a local school or church and have their choir perform after or before the dinner.
  9. Honor Our Fallen Heroes — Partner with Wreaths Across America to sponsor funding wreaths for veterans’ graves, volunteer to lay wreaths for local fallen heroes, or coordinate a wreath laying ceremony.
  10. Claims Day — Help veterans apply for their VA benefits! Host a day at your Post to help write claims, understand benefits, and navigate the federal regulations for local veterans.
  1. Grill for Good — Have a free cookout at your Post with a raffle at the event. Attendees can buy tickets to enter to win a prize and the proceeds can be donated to a local charitable organization.
  2. American Legion Day — Volunteer to beautify, paint, or clean up the local American Legion building in your area. Volunteers from the Post and the community will purchase all of the supplies for the project and join forces to spiffy up the area for Legion members.
  3. Home Sweet Home — Gather volunteers from your Post and partner with local Scout troops to build and install raised flower beds for the local Veterans’ Home. Plant flowers and vegetables, and have volunteers tend to the gardens regularly.
  4. We Care Health Fair — Throw a Health Fair event focused on substance abuse education with county and state VA officials, local drug enforcement law agencies, and mental health advocates. Invite the public to attend and learn more about anti-fentanyl legislation, opioid addiction, preventative resources, and how to help people who suffer from substance abuse.
  5. Care Boxes — Organize a donation drive to collect items and coordinate volunteers from your Post and community to put together care packages for our deployed military and national guard members.
  6. Red Poppies for Remembrance — Partner with the local school system to sponsor an art contest where students create patriotic poppy-themed art. Announce winners at a ceremony and program on National Poppy Day and display the art at the Post.
  7. Veterans’ Open House — Hold a veterans’ open house event at the Post with other local and state veterans’ service organizations. Invite anyone needing veterans’ benefits assistance to get their questions answered and get help with applications.
  8. VFW Bike-A-Thon — Host and sponsor a Bike-A-Thon for community members to participate in as a fundraiser for proceeds to benefit a local charity.
  9. Shelter Clean Up — Have Post members hold a Cleaning Day at the local community shelter and collect cans of food to donate to support unhoused veterans.
  10. Welcome Signs — Work with local painters and builders or Scout troops to create and install signs welcoming visitors to your town, county, or community.

“This is a great way to let communities know that the VFW is very important part of their pride. It’s a win-win for all involved.”

  1. Yoga Workshop — Partner with a local yoga teacher or studio and host a workshop for veterans at your Post. Veterans will learn how to calm the nervous system, gain skills to work through PTSD situations, and practice stress relief and mindfulness.
  2. Helping Hands — Volunteers from the Post visit with veterans living in a hospice house or in palliative care.
  3. Drive to Read — Organize and promote a book collection event at the Post. Collect children’s books to donate to pre-K and elementary schools or collect other books to donate to the local veterans’ home.
  4. Second Time Around Sale — Ask Post members and their families to donate unwanted clothing, shoes, and household items. Resale the donated items during a yard sale that you promote to the community and proceeds can benefit future Post initiatives or programs.
  5. Housing Helpers — Show how much veterans can help other veterans by collecting donations or purchasing items to supply veterans’ transitional housing or homeless veterans’ facility.
  6. Scavenger Hunt — Encourage teamwork and collaboration in your community by organizing a scavenger hunt for small groups in your town. Promote prizes for the top finding group and give all participants a VFW souvenir to take home.
  7. Employment and Career Fair — When your Post is host for a free employment and career fair, you can invite high school and college students, job seekers, and unemployed veterans to help them find new opportunities. Have booth space for local businesses, industry representatives, and recruiters to promote their availability and interact with potential employees.
  8. Light the Night — Allow community members to purchase luminaries in honor of loved ones who are veterans or fallen heroes. Hold a lighting ceremony at your Post on the Sunday evening before Memorial Day and invite the public to attend.
  9. Mending Fences — Lend a helping hand to community members by rebuilding or repairing fences at the homes of veterans or elderly residents.
  10. Car Wash for Veterans — Contact rest home and assisted living homes in the area to serve veterans who have vehicles. Wash and wax their cars, and clean the inside of their cars.
  1. Memorial Day Service and Lunch — Hold a Memorial Day program at a local park or community center. After the presentation, have your Post provide a free lunch followed by an afternoon of local musical entertainment and games.
  2. Veterans Outreach Dinner — Host a free dinner for all veterans, their families, and their caregivers living in the area. Have Post members share the meal and talk to guests about VFW Member and Post outreach services.
  3. Veteran Buddy Check-In — Volunteers at the Post spend an evening calling, emailing, writing, or visiting local veterans to ensure that they are ok and to ask about their needs for assistance. You can reach out by emailing, calling, or visiting them.
  4. Pasta with Patriots — Host a spaghetti dinner for the public at the Post and charge per plate for to-go and eat-in orders. Funds raised can provide for future VFW outreach programs.
  5. Salute to Veterans — Organize a parade or rally to show support for veterans in your community. Invite the public to meet and greet with the veterans and thank them for their service.
  6. Veterans’ Story Project — Inspired by National Public Radio’s StoryCorps, your Post can obtain basic video and audio tools (or cell phone recording apps) to archive stories as told by veterans in your community. The stories can be preserved digitally for the Post and/or shared with local media, veterans’ families, and local historic preservation groups.
  7. Salute to Female Forces — Provide women veterans with an opportunity to bond and visit over a free breakfast or lunch at the Post. Offer coffee and games, playing cards, puzzles, or other activities for post-breakfast entertainment.
  8. VFW Book Club — Engage your VFW Members by hosting a book club that meets monthly at the Post. Members can bring potluck items to share a meal and the Post can provide complimentary desserts.
  9. Spread Smiles — Transform the lives of patients and their families by having volunteers from your Post help out at a local children’s hospital. Providing parents’ night out, leading craft projects, or reading books and playing games are just a few examples of ways to make them smile.
  10. We Care for Veterans — Engage with local veterans’ service and homeless organizations to identify veterans needing help with appealing a negative VA decision or needing help with discharge upgrades in order to qualify for VA benefits (or other assistance). Volunteers can act as advocates and point persons for their veterans’ support.

“To know other people have gone through your experience and just to have that connection with other people … and we’re a good group of people and we want to be here for each other.”

  1. In Honor Of — Organize a team of volunteers to place American flags and clean around the headstones of veterans at local cemeteries.
  2. Sponsor A Scholar — Raise funds at your Post to offer continuing education scholarships to graduating high school students in military families.
  3. Prepare and Protect — Host a disaster preparedness day where you partner with local emergency personnel, organizations, and first responders. Educate community members who attend by handing out a checklist for emergency preparedness, providing items for survival kits, and advice on protecting loved ones during natural disasters.
  4. Motorcycle Mentors — Arrange for members who are motorcycle riders to lead and teach safety to newer and less experienced motorcycle riders. Have an in-person event where mentors demonstrate how to navigate traffic and new riders can participate in an advanced skills course. The event can culminate in a group ride.
  5. Golf to Feed the Need — Hold a golf tournament with proceeds to support the local Food Bank.
  6. Neighborly Check-Ins — Coordinate checking in with elderly veterans to help them with basic food and health needs, or provide support and transportation if needed.
  7. Community Cars and Coffee — Hold a Saturday morning car show and invite the public to come display and see vintage autos. Enlist volunteers to serve free coffee and promote the Post, recruit new members, and raise funds. Highlight veterans showing cars, invite other organizations to promote community involvement (such as: Military Vehicle Association, Scouts, Civil Air Patrol, JROTC, car clubs, schools, and local businesses).
  8. Memorial Day Freedom Fair — Organize a countywide Memorial Day event to honor all who have sacrificed for our freedom. Invite members from veterans’ organization, municipality, and JROTCs. Share info about your Post, raise awareness for veterans’ benefits, and raise funds by having contests (talent show, pie eating competition, cake walk, etc.).
  9. Pizza Night at the Post — Host an evening for community members to come by the Post and have a pizza party with veterans and VFW members. The Post’s volunteers will arrange purchasing and serving the pizza and soft drinks. Have your Post Commander speak to the attendees about the VFW, your Post, and what you provide to the community.
  10. Patriots’ Picnic in the Park — Join forces with an American Legion Post, VA Medical Center or another VFW and hold an Armed Forces Day Picnic for all veterans and their families in your county. Bring in live entertainment, bounce houses for children and provide food. Have information booths for each organization on and have volunteers deliver food to veterans who are confined to their homes.
  1. Community Service Awards — Have a Community Service award ceremony with a local celebrity host and complimentary dinner. Invite veterans and their families as guests.
  2. Hearts and Horses — Help veterans manage stress, get emotional support, and recover from trauma by partnering with an equine-assisted therapy center or organization. Host a day where the therapy horses and instructors come to the Post or transport veterans to the center or ranch.
  3. Baked Goods for a Good Cause — Host a bake sale with donated items or a “pay to taste and vote” cake/pie making contest at the Post. Proceeds can benefit future Post events or a local charitable organization.
  4. Community Picnic — Your Post can sponsor a community cookout and picnic to raise funds and collect donated items for the local food bank. In order to get a free burger or hot dog meal, attendees bring canned goods or make a “pay what you can” donation.
  5. School’s Out — Partner with Feeding America or local branches of food banks to collect food items to be provided for children during summer meal programs. Volunteers from your Post can help pack and hand out meals to the children during the summer break.
  6. Paint and Sip Night — Host a local artist for an evening and charge admission to the public to attend and create their own painting to take home. Snacks and beverages are included in the ticket price, and proceeds go to a local social services nonprofit.
  7. Care Packages for Neighbors — Collect items donated by the community for hygiene care kits to give to the local shelter for people in need. Organize a “packing party” for members to assemble the kits one evening at the Post.
  8. Landscape with Love — VFW Post Members can reach out to local veterans or elderly residents who need help with lawn maintenance. Arrange a group to perform light landscaping duties such as mowing, pulling weeds, or cleaning up debris at the homes of the veterans/elderly neighbors.
  9. Race to Recycle — Sponsor a competition between local businesses, schools, churches, or other groups to see who can collect the most aluminum cans, glass bottles, and cardboard boxes for recycling over a week’s time. The winning group gets a prize and all participants are invited to the Post for donuts and coffee at the week’s end.
  10. Relief Drive — Hold a monthlong drive at your Post for the public to drop off donations of supplies that can be used for disaster relief and recovery. Collect water, nonperishable food items, flashlights, batteries, first aid kits, etc. The Post can donate the supplies to a local relief organization or stock the Post for helping out in future disaster relief in the community.

“The entire day proved to be an emotional one and well received by the town, citizens and veterans alike.”

2024 VFW Day of Service Supporter

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