‘Tis the season!
That’s right! The holidays are fast approaching and it’s the season of giving. I’m sure you have your list of gifts for family, friends and co-workers. If you’re like me, you also have a list of charities for end-of-year donations.
As you know, I’m a huge supporter of our active duty military members, veterans and their families. That’s why each year, I compile a new list of highly-rated charities that support veterans and the military.
In case it’s helpful, below is this year’s list of remarkable charities that focus on wounded troops, military social services and military family support. They’re ranked by the percentage of total expenses that go to their programs and services. I only included charities that spend at least 90% on their direct offerings.
Top Wounded Troops Charities
- Air Warrior Courage Foundation (AWCF) – 97%: Formed by military aviators to “care for our own,” AWCF focuses on active duty, guard, reserve and military personnel and their families in need of financial assistance for medical, education or other expenses.
- Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Charitable Service Trust – 96.1%: The DAV offers support to physical and psychological rehabilitation programs that provide direct service to wounded, injured or ill veterans. Donations help develop and maintain special rehabilitation programs for veterans coping with service-connected conditions that may hamper their lives. Key programs include mental and physical therapy, food and shelter (and more) provisions to homeless vets, rehabilitation programs and transportation.
- Semper Fi Fund – 91.8%: The Semper Fi Fund offers immediate financial assistance and lifetime support to post-9/11 combat wounded, injured or ill members of the military and their families, delivering valuable resources during their recovery and transition back to their communities.
Military Social Services
- Operation Gratitude – 95.6%: Operation Gratitude supports active duty military members and veterans by sending more than 100,000 care packages each year. These packages are filled with food, hygiene products, entertainment and handmade items. They also include letters of support.
- Soldiers’ Angels – 93.5%: Soldiers’ Angels offers aid and comfort to active duty military members, veterans and their families. A team of over 100,000 volunteers live their motto: “may no soldier go unloved.” Just in 2016, Soldiers’ Angels provided over $15 million in aid to more than 360,000 recipients.
- Honor Flight Network – 92.4%: The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that 640 World War II veterans die every day. The Honor Flight Network transports our war heroes to D.C. to visit and reflect at their memorials. Following the WWII veterans, their inspiring efforts will switch to providing honor and closure for Korean War and Vietnam War veterans.
Military Family Support
- Operation First Response – 96.7%: Since its inception in 2004, Operation First Response has raised over $9 million in aid to more than 17,000 wounded heroes and their families. Personal and financial services are provided at the onset of illness or injuries, throughout recovery and during their journey from military life to civilian life. Services include flights, lodging and car transportation, along with financial support for groceries, clothing, rent, mortgage, utilities and/or car payments.
- Operation Homefront – 92.3%: For over 15 years, Operation Homefront’s mission has been to “build strong, stable and secure military families so they can thrive in the communities that they’ve worked so hard to protect.” Services include critical financial assistance, transitional housing programs, permanent housing, caregiver support services and more. Since its inception, Operation Homefront has provided over $20 million in critical financial assistance, fulfilling more than 35,000 requests from over 14,000 military families.
- Fisher House Foundation – 91.3%: Best known for its network of comfort homes, the Fisher House Foundation builds houses near major military and VA medical centers nationwide. These homes are available for military and veterans’ families to stay while a loved one is receiving treatment, at no cost.
Please let me know if you find this list helpful, or if you have any favorite charities that you donate to. I’d love to check them out!