Even if you’re not in the military, there are actions you can take to support the troops. While it may seem like a small gesture, doing what you can to help the family of a deployed officer will have a big impact on that family and that service member. Here are just a few ways you can support a service member’s family in your neighborhood.

Provide Childcare Services

The spouse of a deployed service member has their hands full in a very real way. Although they are married, their spouse is far away, and they’re left with maintaining the household, caring for their children, and working a job. Offering to babysit when you can, or volunteering to drive the kids to soccer practice once a week, can give that spouse the break they need to keep up with everything else.

Cook Extras

Dropping off a home cooked meal to a service member’s family once in a while will also be appreciated. The spouse of the deployed officer may not have time to cook healthy and well-balanced meals every day, so bringing a meal for them once or twice a week will limit the money they spend on unhealthy fast food.

Volunteer Your Time

If you, or your spouse, have an interest in giving back to your community, you can do so by helping out a military family. Offering to mow the lawn, or provide general household upkeep, can save a struggling spouse from having to hire a handyman. They may not ask for help, but that doesn’t mean they have everything under control. They will be grateful for the assistance.

Just Be Friendly

Finally, you don’t always have to be engaged in actively helping out a military family. The spouse of a deployed member of the military may be lonely, and they may just be happy to have someone around. Strike up a conversation whenever possible, or invite them out for lunch on the weekends. People often feel less stressed when they have a friendly ear.

You may find more ways to help the family of a deployed military service member just by remaining alert to their needs. The smallest measure of support can go a long way for a family that’s struggling to survive. While there may not be many community organizations that help military families, your efforts to help just one family may encourage others to do the same.