There are plenty of people out there who want to help the country’s military veterans but they aren’t sure how to do so. Donating to veterans is one of the best options. So, just how can you make a donation to US veterans?
Veterans sacrifice so much for our country. They give up comfort, safety, and peace of mind. They risk injury and serve their time knowing they might never return home. Even after they do return their lives might not ever be the same again. They deserve appreciation and so much more.
The good news is there are many charities and organizations that have been established in an effort to support and give back to veterans. These groups are focused on assisting veterans while they are in the service and after when they must return to civilian life. Some organizations focus on specific things while others handle a variety of charitable efforts. And still some work with specific groups of veterans, such as those who were injured, versus groups that work with veterans in general.
If your goal is to provide donations to veterans and you want to do what you can to help, you have a few great options.
We’ve listed some of the best known and most reputable veterans’ charities below. This is not a complete list and there are plenty of great charities out there that allow you to donate and give thanks to vets and military members.
Disabled American Veterans
The Disabled American Veterans or DAV provides a variety of support and services to veterans who were disabled during service. They also offer support for veterans family members.
The organization has more than one million members and is proud of the reach it has across the country. It provides a number of services to wounded vets and provides assistance with VA pensions, disability assistance, employment, and more.
Disabled American Veterans receives no federal funding and relies on private gifts and donations to maintain its program.
For decades, the United Services Organization, better known as the USO has provided support and services to active duty service members and their families. The USO relies on cash donations and also runs a holiday program called USO Operation Phone Home that provides $50 pre-paid international phone cards to vets overseas so they can contact loved ones during the holiday season.
Wounded Warrior Project
The Wounded Warrior Project assists wounded veterans in their return to civilian life after they’ve been injured in service. They provide rehabilitation, employment counseling, and various activities for wounded soldiers, as well as support for their families.
The organization offers a variety of ways to help, including hosting a fundraising event, writing to injured service members, making a one-time donation in honor of a loved one, and scheduling a monthly financial gift.
The Wounded Warrior Project also receives support from private companies that raise money by offering employees casual dress days for a financial donation, office events, and inter-office competitions.
This program is similar to Habitat for Humanity but focuses strictly on supplying homes to veterans. Homes for Our Troops asks for volunteers to help build homes or to adapt existing homes to meet the disability needs of veterans. The group receives grant money from the VA but does not use those funds to cover the cost of construction, so they rely solely on the handiwork of volunteers for providing housing for veterans.
Support for Military Dogs
In addition to offering donations to soldiers, you can also donate food and other items to dogs in the military. Petco and the Natural Balance pet food brand both sell special treats to raise funds for a military service dog memorial. There are also programs that provide support and service animals to veterans who are dealing with physical and mental challenges once they return home from duty. These organizations accept cash donations, but if you’d like to do more and you have experience training service animals, you can volunteer to train a puppy and prepare it for a life as a service or emotional support animal.
Freedom Service Dogs of America offers a variety of ways you can be of assistance.
Local Veterans Groups
In addition to the variety of national groups, there are likely local organizations in your area that work with veterans in your own community. You can contact a nearby American Legion post for information or the local VA administration for more information. If you have a veterans’ hospital in your area, they might be looking for specific items you can donate.
Some people want to go above and beyond what they can afford to do on their own and they organize a fundraiser or charitable event to efficiently raise money to donate to a veterans’ organization. If you’d like to plan an event, consider something as simple as a bake sale or car wash. A silent auction is also a great idea and it really helps to get the community involved. You can contact local businesses and ask them to donate products or services to the event and then auction off those things to raise money for your chosen veterans’ charity.
If you don’t have a lot of money to donate, consider donating time. You can volunteer with a local veterans’ organization or VA hospital. As you might guess, many of the residents in these facilities tend to get lonely and bored, and they’re looking for ways to occupy their time. You can spend an hour or two each month reading to veterans, watching television with them, playing board games, or simply listening to their stories. This is also a great way to get younger generations in touch with older Americans who are able to share their accounts of history first-hand.
Finally, don’t forget about veterans you know personally. There is nothing wrong with offering financial and emotional support or donations to a vet you know who is trying to start a business, buy a home, or make a better life for themselves and their family.