There are several veteran non-profit organizations in the USA that provide a variety of services, support, and resources to military vets.
In order to be considered an official veterans’ non-profit, an organization must have membership of at least three-quarters veterans and more than 97% of its members must be past or present members of the service, cadets or souses, military families, widows or widowers, ancestors or lineal descendants of a service member.
In addition to requirements for members, veteran non-profits also need to perform certain duties or provide certain services. For instance, according to the IRS, non-profits for veterans must offer:
- Social welfare support and promote the general welfare of the community, including homeless veterans
- Support for disabled veterans or those with post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as active duty service members or their dependents
- Entertainment or assistance to vets or active duty service members in the hospital
- Programs that honor the memory of deceased vets and comfort their survivors
- Programs for charitable, religious, scientific, literary or educational purposes
- Patriotic activities
- Insurance benefits for service members, vets or their dependents
- Social or recreational activities
Organizations need not offer all of these things but need to offer at least one of the things from the list to be categorized as a non-profit veterans’ organization by the IRS.
Hire Heroes is based out of Alpharetta, Georgia and helps veterans find jobs. It helps active military, veterans, and their spouses get the training needed to find employment. They receive assistance with resume creation, interviewing skills, and other things needed to find a job.
Each veteran who works with Hire Heroes is connected with a former military staff member who stays with them throughout the job search process. They also offer resources and connections with companies that are considered veteran-friendly, and they offer workshops and one-on-one counseling to prepare vets for the workforce.
Operation Homefront works with veterans who are struggling with poverty. The organization works with both vets and their families who not only face financial difficulties in general but who are also burdened by injuries from time in the military. The organization also works with families that are struggling financially because of a military death.
This veteran non-profit organization provides food assistance, vision care, transportation, help with relocating, auto and home repairs, and various other types of financial assistance to vets and families in need. It also organizes support groups for those caring for wounded veterans or for vets dealing with PTSD. There are also transitional housing opportunities available for wounded veterans that provide a bridge from the time an injury occurs to the time veterans’ financial benefits begin.
Operation Homefront has one of the best reputations for providing emergency funds and transitional support to veterans.
Non-Profit Organizations for Veterans
One of the best-known veterans’ non-profit organizations is Wounded Warriors Family Support. This organization is based out of Omaha, Nebraska, and provides services to the families of military members who were injured during their time in the military.
This organization is different than the Wounded Warrior Project, which helps the wounded warriors themselves, and tends to focus more of its money on fundraising.
The organization offers family retreats for loved ones. Also offered is a welding program for vets in conjunction with the UAWU and the Ford motor company. There is also a caregiver respite program for those who are caring for loved ones who were wounded during military service.
The goal of the program is to ensure that not only the vets receive the support and services they need, but that the family members who are also affected also receive assistance. The program prides itself on acknowledging that military service affects everyone involved, not just the person being deployed or the person who has been injured.
The Fisher House Foundation is based in Rockville, Maryland and helps families of veterans, as well as those who have lost a family member in military service. The organization has been operating for a quarter century and provides housing near military medical centers across the country. Similar to the services the Ronald McDonald House provides for families of sick children, the Fisher House ensures that family members visiting or staying to care for service members in the hospital have housing near the care facility.
Every year, 10,000 families utilize the services offered by Fisher House, which has 65 establishments throughout the country. Hotel rooms are also provided through donated reward points, and those using the services of Fisher House might also have access to airline miles to help them reach their destination.
Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS)
The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, based out of Arlington, Virginia, provides round-the-clock support for families and loved ones dealing with tragedy. It is not exclusively for veterans, but its experience dealing with horrific tragedy makes it an excellent resource for veterans and their families.
The organization was founded in the mid-1990s and offers peer-based emotional support, crisis intervention, casework assistance, and grief and trauma resources.
The organization makes it easier for people who are connected to the military in unconventional ways to receive the emotional support needed to deal with a crisis. For instance, many of the government-sponsored support programs require a family member be legally married or legally related to a service member to receive benefits. TAPS provides support even if there is no legal relationship.
The organization has provided support to more than 40,000 families members linked to vets and the military. Additionally, the organization hosts National Military Survivor Seminars and offers Good Grief Camps throughout the country. These events assist family members and friends of a deceased military member deal with their loss. The organization is known for dealing with some of the worst situations in existence and has provided support and guidance to many people during their darkest hours.
In addition to these national non-profit organizations for veterans, there are also a number of state and local charities in existence. If you need support, you can contact one of these organizations or find a program that is in your local area.