Memorial Day is just around the corner. Yet, instead of just looking forward to the long weekend celebrating friends and family, let’s take a moment to remember what Memorial Day is all about.
Memorial Day is a US Federal Holiday honoring the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces are remembered. It also typically marks the start of the summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its end. The latter is probably the reason for all the family vacations, bbq’s etc. But let’s not just celebrate the start to the summer season, let’s take a minute to honor those who have served our country.
Keep in mind that giving-back doesn’t always necessarily mean a monetary contribution.
Here are some small ways you can make a difference:
- On Memorial Weekend, many people visit cemeteries and memorials to honor those who have died in military service.
- Many volunteers place an American flag or flowers on soldiers’ graves in national cemeteries.
- Some people may choose to make online donations to nonprofit organizations who support families of military deceased or veterans.
- Some people choose to attend a community Memorial Day Event! (check out your local event calendars).
If you are interested in hosting a Memorial Day Fundraising Event… Here are some great ideas:
Memorial Day Fundraising Picnic: Many people host Memorial Day-themed BBQ’s and picnics. Consider contacting a local community park and hosting your own event. Set up a simple fundraising website to share event details and provide an option for people to make online donations. Contact local musicians to see if they might donate their time to entertain the local community for a good cause. Offer fun family games, and invite vendors who offer rides, bounce houses and food and drink for sale. Consider selling signature items such as small American flags or red, white and blue glow sticks. Depending on your funding, you could even consider a fire-work show (perhaps a local business would be willing to sponsor the fireworks) – that is sure to draw in a crowd!
Honoring Fallen Heros Gala Dinner: Hold as “Honoring our Fallen Heroes” fundraising gala and dinner at an up-scale restaurant, art gallery or hotel. Hire an acclaimed chef to prepare a pre-fix 3-course gourmet meal. Partner with a local brewery or winery to provide signature drinks. Decorate the place with pictures of local veterans and disabled veterans who have sacrificed for our country. Honor any local family members who have been left behind. Then honor those who have fallen with a celebration. Hire a band, a comedian or other performers. You may also want to host a silent auction as part of the event. People can bid on items as they are mingling during the cocktail hour and prize winners can be announced at the end of the event.
Host a Memorial Day Walk-a-thon. A Walk-a-thon is a great way to gather family, friends and members of your community to support a cause. Consider making your walk-a-thon fundraiser into a “color run” or “color walk” – where you douse participants with RED, WHITE, and BLUE in honor of our county’s fallen heroes. Have a band playing patriotic tunes at the finish line and host food, beverages and a post-walk party. Include a fundraising raffle – which is a great way to raise additional revenue at any event. Contact local businesses to see if they might donate some prizes for your event and then sell raffle tickets to attendees. Ideas for prizes include: restaurant certificates, spa and hotel vouchers, shopping sprees, perhaps a local bike shop will donate a bike, and maybe you can find some specific war memorabilia, etc.
Whatever you choose to do this Memorial Day, we hope you have a great one…and at least take a moment to honor those who have fallen for our country.