Lending a hand to veterans facing hard times is a noble calling, and there are several ways organizations and individuals can contribute. Even a simple act such as donating to vets' causes can take a few different forms, some of which may go beyond the expected. Below are two examples of communities giving specific items to those in need to improve their living conditions. While the exact methods will vary from one place to another, the end goal remains the same: When veterans encounter difficulties upon their return from military service, these programs are there to make things a little better.

Appliance donations in Alabama
Having a new stove, refrigerator or microwave can be hugely helpful for someone in need. In Birmingham, Alabama, one American Legion post is helping local veterans obtain free appliances in an effort to materially improve their living conditions. Local news station WSFA reported that the Legion received hundreds of kitchen fixtures when a local apartment complex launched a remodeling project. The organization is now reaching out to vets who need new stoves, refrigerators and more, all for free.

The news provider explained that some of the appliances have gone to a veterans housing complex set up by the Priority Services Group. Currently, there are 30 units available to formerly homeless vets, and they have all received new kitchen equipment. Priority Services Group also offers employment training, and the group's Cedric Anderson hopes the military members housed in the development will be able to join the workforce.

"We are working with the junior colleges of the state of Alabama to make sure these guys are trained and then at that point we will bring in employers to come interview these guys and hire them right on the spot," Anderson told WSFA.

A free fridge could be a huge help.A free fridge could be a huge help.

Quilts offered in Washington
Just as kitchen appliances can be helpful to those in need, warm blankets and quilts help make a home feel more comfortable. Upon hearing about a new housing development for homeless veterans in her area, Quilting Mayhem's Chelsey Weber decided to donate some of her handiwork, according to My Edmonds News. Weber organized several other quilters to join her effort and set to work creating 20 quilts, one for each formerly homeless vet living in the complex.

The quilts were created with materials purchased by Weber herself, and the whole effort of creating them took under a month, the news provider reported. Now the ex-military members at Sebastian Place will have handmade quilts in time for the cooler fall and winter weather.

Donations can take many forms
Companies and individuals can make a positive impact on an at-risk veteran's quality of living by making a timely donation. As shown by the above examples, there are many different ways to contribute, and choosing what to give will rely on gauging the needs of local vets as well as seeing what's available in the community. When the opportunity presents itself, taking action in this way can show gratitude for military members' service and let them know their town or city is behind them.