6 Charities That Support Our Nation's Veterans
Charitable giving always feels good. And for many people, there’s no better charitable donation than one made to our nation's veterans. The men and women who have put their lives on the line to protect our way of life often have to rely on charitable work to maintain the quality of life they deserve.
On this Veteran’s Day, we've assembled a list of charitable organizations that you can donate to if you want to help those who have served our country. Some are names you'll recognize, while others are newer to the scene or less well-known. The good news is that they're all working for a good cause.
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) has been around for a decade now and serves 2.4 million young veterans of the most recent wars. IAVA works with young veterans to provide them with education, health care and employment support — all elements critical for new veterans to transition back into civilian life.
Better known as the USO, the United Service Organization is one of the country's best-known veteran-support organizations. The USO dates back to 1941 and has become synonymous with entertainers who have traveled to foreign lands to put on shows for American troops. Names like Marilyn Monroe, Bob Hope and Clint Eastwood have been closely tied to this organization, which runs 135 centers worldwide.
Through the USO, veterans and active-duty soldiers receive access to resources like housing assistance, counseling, internet and free library use. You can donate to the USO on their website.
Another recognizable name when it comes to supporting veterans is the Wounded Warrior Project. Wounded Warrior Family Support works with the families and loved ones of soldiers who have been wounded or killed in the line of duty. The organization gives families of service members a forum where they can connect and holds events where they can relax and spend time together in a supported, low-stress setting.
Family support also includes access to services like family grief counseling and fundraising for families whose primary source of income might have come from a wounded or killed service member.
Known for his portrayal of Lieutenant Dan in the Academy-award-winning film Forrest Gump, actor Gary Sinise is a respected advocate of American veterans in everyday life, going so far as to start a philanthropic foundation that supports our nation's troops, families of troops and other public servants, such as first responders.
This foundation holds events in support of the veteran community and has spearheaded multiple projects to improve the quality of life for wounded veterans. For example, it's known for the building of 58 smart homes that provide adaptive living support for disabled vets.
A creative way to assist those who've served our country and provide companionship for our nation's incarcerated population, this organization raises and trains dogs to support veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries. The puppies start their training by working with inmates, where they learn a specific set of commands and behaviors. They are then transitioned to the care of a veteran when they're mature enough.
When your loved one has to be hospitalized because of injuries from military service, it can be a stressful and challenging time. The Fisher House Foundation provides free housing for families of military service members who are in such a situation. Started in 1990, the foundation has helped more than 220,000 families endure difficult times since its creation. Currently, Fisher House accommodations can provide for 832 families a day nationwide.
These are six great options if you're looking for a way to support our nation's veterans this November. Many other groups are out there, too — just be sure that if you don't select one of these, you do your homework to make sure the organization you choose is legitimate. Even if you can't afford to donate, make sure you say thank you to the veterans in your life. They'll appreciate it.