In honor of Veterans Day, SargesList asked some of our veteran and military spouse friends and readers to name their favorite organizations that support veterans and military families.
A quick internet search turns up many non-profits and support organizations that do great things, but may leave you wondering where exactly you should place your efforts and your trust.
This is by no means a comprehensive list, but if you’re looking to either receive help or to lend a hand in support of our nation’s best, we highlighted a few you may want to consider. Please see the end of the post for more links to reputable, vetted charities.
GallantFew’s innovative program works to match veterans with veterans in a carefully selected one-on-one partnership. Organization volunteers look for two veterans who live in the same hometown, served in the same branch of service, had the same MOS and possibly the same unit, were deployed in the same combat theaters and, even have similar injuries.¬† By doing so, they¬† create a strong bond that can help foster future success, mental health and, in general, open up doors to veterans who may otherwise struggle.
The goal of Fisher House is to provide a residence to¬†military, veterans and their families who must stay near a VA medical center for treatment. Since the Fisher House launched in 1990, it has saved its users approximately $200 million in lodging and transportation costs. The homes are donated to the military and the VA and are generally built on VA Medical Center grounds in the US and Europe. The Fisher House is a wonderful advantage afforded to military families when they need it most, and the Fisher House Foundation ensures that there are never any fees to stay.
The Semper Fi Fund was set up to provide financial assistance and support for injured and critically ill military family members. They place special emphasis on responding to urgent requests for resources to post 9/11 service members. According to their website, Semper Fi Fund provides family support, adaptive housing, adaptive transportation, specialized equipment, education and career transitioning, rehabilitative sports programs and more.
The goal of TAPS is to provide “emotional help, hope and healing” to those who are grieving the death of a service member. The organization provides support, resources, casework and community-based care in the most difficult of times. They host a 24/7 hotline at 1-800-959-TAPS (8277). The organization is also known for its National Military Survivor Seminar and Good Grief camp, which has taken place annually since 1994, and its regional Survivor Seminars and Good Grief Camps across the country.
The Travis Manion Foundation was inspired by words, “If Not Me, Than Who…” which were spoken by Travis Manion’s before leaving on his second deployment to
Iraq. Although Manion was killed in combat, his family and many other staff and volunteers committed to the cause work to build action-packed events to “honor the fallen by challenging the living.” Their innovative programs are designed to inspire communities to service and empower survivors, veterans and others so that those who sacrifice are not forgotten.
The Boot Campaign aims to provide a fun, easy, interactive way for Americans to promote patriotism, awareness, and show support for our service members. The organization also raises funds for military programs that rise to the challenge of meeting the complex needs of our heroes.
Homes for Our Troops has been assisting severely injured veterans and their families since 2004 by “raising money, building materials and professional labor, and by coordinating the process of building a home that provides maximum freedom of movement and the ability to live more independently.” They are able to do so at no cost to the veterans, continuously creating life-changing situations for those who have been severely injured after September 11, 2011 and need specially adapted homes.
Wounded Wear, which was founded by an injured veteran, aims to raise awareness of wounded warriors’ sacrifices and the families of the fallen. They also provide free clothing kits and clothing modifications to wounded warriors to help them make the most of their lives. Wounded Wear also sponsors empowering events for veterans and families of the fallen to inspire and raise awareness in communities.
Operation Homefront exists to help military families who have fallen on difficult financial times. They provide food assistance, auto and home repair, vision care, travel/transportation, moving assistance, essential home items and other types of financial assistance.¬† Among many other projects, they also host Operation Homegrown Village, which cares for both the Wounded Warrior and their caretakers.
More Details and the Combined Federal Campaign
¬†The Military Times has a great breakdown of charities and highlights new and long-standing partners of the Combined Federal Campaign, which is the means by which many military families make their yearly donations.
Military Times is celebrating Veterans and all their contributions to our country with their #MyVeteran Campaign. If you’d like to celebrate a special veteran in your life, simply post a photo and include the hashtage #MyVeteran, and you will be automatically included on a special Military Times website. Some of the best photos, tweets and videos will be included in their print publications.
Remember, tag #MyVeteran at www.militarytimes.com/myveteran now until Nov. 30.
Please adjust your privacy settings so Military Times can see your posts or you can simply post them directly to their Facebook pages.