Americans traditionally get together every Thanksgiving for a home-cooked meal with their family, but not all have that luxury.
More than 130,000 servicemembers aren't able to go home for the holidays because they are serving abroad, according to the latest Defense Department figures.
Several programs accept donations to send care packages to troops overseas, and giving to them can be as simple as clicking on a website.
Here are a few national organizations where you can donate:
- USO Holiday Boxes: Servicemembers receive fun holiday items, such as edible treats, greeting cards, DVDs and hand and feet warmers.
- Give2TheTroops: Donate money or items from the most wanted list, including iTunes gift cards, board games and toiletries. The not-for-profit sends the items in care packages to deployed troops.
- AnySoldier.com: You can select who you want to send a package to, see the servicemember's wish list and then send the package directly to the servicemember.
Some communities are banding together to provide for troops serving overseas. The (Salisbury, Md.) Daily Times reported on a recent meeting of 300 residents who gathered in Sharptown, Md., to package together basic necessities such as toothbrushes and deodorant for Delaware and Maryland servicemen and women abroad.
While the material donations are important, sometimes the simple words of encouragement are what truly resonate.
"It's giving them the touch of home. The letters, the cards are so important," said Sharon Crary, Oregon/Washington branch director for Give2TheTroops. "Long after everything in the box is gone, they will keep the letters. They'll trade them and read them over and over again. It's so important to their morale."