Ideas to Help Everyone Give Back on Veterans Day

Today is Veterans Day! There are many ways to give back on November 11th, but there are just as many ways to support veterans every day of the year by finding the right volunteer opportunities, donating to an esteemed veterans organization from around the country and more. Read on to learn more about how to celebrate Veterans Day, and find out about some great veterans organizations if you want to get involved.

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Veterans Day: Thoughtful Ways to Celebrate
November 11 is the anniversary of Armistice Day; the date World War I ended. It’s the day we celebrate the veterans in our country. This day of celebration was established in 1938. We know the when in celebrating, but do we know the how? Whether you have family, friends, neighbors or just want to celebrate the service of all American veterans and service members, check out these ideas to honor veterans in your community.


How to Show Support

National Military Family Association
The National Military Family Association prides itself on being the go-to source for information regarding all issues related to military families in America. Starting in 1969, NMFA has established a sturdy foundation of programs, including scholarships for military spouses, services for children in military families, opportunities for families to reconnect and more. It’s also a great resource for information and support on subjects such as how to handle deployment, what to know about military leave and benefits, life after the military and more.

Operation Gratitude
Operation Gratitude focuses on sending care packages to military members deployed overseas as well as their families at home, to veterans, care givers and more. The care packages are typically packed with food, entertainment, hygiene, handmade items as well as personal letters of appreciation from Americans all over the country. It has lifted the spirits of countless veterans, service members and families since 2003, sending more than 1.64 million care packages. Send a letter of your own to say “Thank You” on Veterans Day here.

Disabled American Veterans
Disabled American Veterans (DAV) helps improve the lives of veterans by providing free rides for veterans to get to medical appointments, and also assists with thousands of benefits claims. In addition to providing over 700,000 rides, DAV is also dedicated to helping veterans find employment by making vital resources available and hosting job fairs. It also works to create a community of volunteers across the nation, from all the disabled veterans who inspire each other to the local chapters in each state for people to get involved.

Fall Flavors: Apple Picking and Oktoberfest Menu Ideas

A few weeks into Autumn. The air is crisp, but not too cold. The leaves are changing and starting to fall. But the weather isn’t the only thing that is changing. Our taste in food changes a little bit as well. Fall flavors like apple, pumpkin and cinnamon are what we crave. Fall festivals like Oktoberfest offer mouthwatering menus we look forward to every year. Learn about the flavors of fall with these articles on apples and Oktoberfest.

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American As Apple Pie: The Apple’s Journey to America
For a country that’s second in the world in apple production, a nation with a proud idiom like “American as apple pie,” it’s odd to learn that all these apples weren’t around when colonists first settled on American soil. The apple’s journey to America is a curious one, intertwined with colonial tastes, the founding fathers and even a popular legend or two. Read on to learn more about the apple’s deep roots in our American history.

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What to Put On Your Oktoberfest Menu
With summer barbecues in our past and holiday parties ahead of us, we’re in that wonderful fall transitional period. Oktoberfest is to us what trick-or-treating is for the little ones. But you don’t have to pack your travel pillow and get on a 10-hour flight to take part in the festival. You can have your own fest at home. You know that beer is a must, but you need some snacks to go with it. Here’s what to put on your Oktoberfest menu.

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Apple Picking Guide
It’s that time of year when apples taste the sweetest and farms open to the public for apple picking. It is one of those fall activities for which everyone should set aside a crisp day and leave behind the cheap toys and chores to celebrate the beautiful autumn season. Here’s a quick guide to picking the best apples this fall.

Wine Wednesday: Interesting Facts About Wine in America

It took some time for wine to become as popular in America as it is in Europe, and even longer for American wine to earn worldwide recognition and respect. While wine isn’t nearly as popular as beer on U.S. soil, it’s widely consumed and continues to blend into mainstream culture. Wine Wednesday is the perfect occasion to uncork your favorite vintage in the middle of the week. Before pouring a glass of sauvignon blanc or while you’re sipping a sweet Riesling, take a look at these fun, interesting facts on the history of wine in America.

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Oldest Winery in the U.S.A.
The oldest operating winery in America is the Brotherhood Winery. Located in Washingtonville, New York, it produced its first wine for commercial consumption in 1839, and is still up and running. In fact, some original facilities are still being used in the wine-making process, and wine enthusiasts can explore the sights to get an idea of what it was like to make wine in America during the 19th century. Visitors to this National Historic Site can try wine tastings, check out the grounds, take special tours and bring home some delicious wines.

Wine During Prohibition
Establishments like the Brotherhood Winery were in danger of going out of business during the Prohibition throughout the 1920’s. However, there was a loophole for wineries to continue to operate, selling their wine to the Catholic Church for sacramental wine purposes. While many wineries and businesses dependent on wine didn’t make it through the dry years, wineries which were lucky enough to stay under contract with the church thrived (likely selling to more customers than the church). In addition, at-home wine making kits were legal during Prohibition, allowing Americans to produce a certain amount of wine per year for personal use.

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When Everything Changed
In May of 1976, the most respected wine connoisseurs in Paris assembled for a blind taste-test between the noble French wines that were regarded as the best in the world and up-and-coming American wines from a few vineyards in California. The challenge wasn’t given much attention by the French media because it was impossible for the unknown Californian wineries to compete with France. Surprisingly, the wines judged as the best for red and white were both Californian, paving the way for wine in America and around the world.

Top Spot for the Time Being
Americans drink a lot of wine. More and more since the wine scene really started to take root and trickle into popular culture. In addition to consuming the most wine, the American wine tourism scene is also booming, attracting millions of tourists annually to hot spots like Napa Valley and Sonoma Country in California. And in case you were wondering what wines Americans love the most, the top spot goes to Chardonnay, with a close following from Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Grigio and Merlot, while Pinot Noir rounds out the top five.


Whether you love capping off a long day with a glass of wine or plan on serving wine at Thanksgiving this year, find all the wine supplies you need at The Lakeside Collection, from glasses to wine bottle holders.