The sacrifices made by the men and women serving in the United States military are immeasurable. As civilians, it is our duty to support our military personnel and their families by donating time, money and resources wherever and whenever possible. Many organizations have been created with this goal in mind. These are some of the highest rated charities in terms of accountability, financial health and percentage of donations that go directly towards programs.
Wounded Warriors Family Support
This family-oriented organization runs programs that serve the families of U.S. Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines who have been wounded, injured or killed during combat operations. Established in 2003 by a retired United States Marine Corp colonel, Wounded Warriors Family Support provides free of charge, family-friendly retreats where wounded veterans, spouses, and children can reconnect with each other. This non-profit organization relies on charitable donations to aid veterans and their families in healing the hidden wounds that war can cause. As of 2015, 83% of the donations made to the organization go directly to the programs and services that it delivers.
Fisher House Foundation
When injured military personnel are receiving medical treatment at facilities far from home, there is often no place for their loved ones to stay. The Fisher House Foundation saw the need for these family members and created this non-profit organization in 1990 to address the issue. Fisher Houses are located near major military and VA hospitals nationwide and are available to military and veterans’ families at no cost. The charity has served over 277,000 families since its inception and also operates the Hero Miles program, which uses donated frequent flier miles to bring family members to the bedside of injured service members. Over 58,000 airline tickets have been provided to service members and their families. The organization maintains as little overhead as possible and takes pride in the fact that 91% of the charity’s total expenses go to supporting injured military personnel and their family members.
For 75 years, the United Service Organizations has provided help to military service members and their families. This non-profit organization provides programs, services and entertainment to United States soldiers and their families. Operating in 160 centers worldwide, the USO was founded in 1941 to raise the morale of our military. Today, the USO relies on over 44,000 volunteers to help ease the burden of our troops and keep them connected to their families. Approximately 60% of the USO’s total expenses are spent on its services and programs.
Homes for Our Troops
Since its creation in 2004, HFOT has built over 210 homes for our disabled veterans and is currently working on over 70 more. Focused on helping veterans wounded in combat rebuild their lives and restore their independence, Homes for Our Troops works nation-wide to meet the needs of our military service members. This non-profit organization offers mortgage-free, specially adapted homes to veterans who have sustained injuries including multiple limb amputations, partial or full paralysis, and/or severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). Nearly 90 cents of every dollar donated to this charity goes directly to program services for Veterans.
Navy-Marine Corp Relief Society
Dating back to 1904, this organization provides education and financial assistance to members of the United States Navy and Marine Corps and their eligible family members, widows, and survivors. The society works with service members and their families to establish and maintain financial stability. They offer counseling programs to help service member’s better balance their money and provide loans and grants to help cover the medical expenses of military dependents. In 2015, this non-profit organization provided more than $48 million in interest-free loans and grants to over 100,000 sailors, marines and their families around the world.
Disabled American Veterans Charitable Service Trust
This organization supports physical and psychological rehabilitation programs that provide direct service to ill, injured, or wounded veterans. The goal of the DAV Charitable Service Trust is to make a positive difference in the lives of injured veterans and their families by supporting programs that provide quality health care services for veterans, programs that enhance research and mobility for veterans with spinal cord injuries and amputations, programs that provide assistance to veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), substance abuse issues, Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) and more. 97% of contributions made to this non-profit organization are funneled directly to services and programs supporting disabled veterans and their families.
The next time you are looking for a way to give back or pay it forward, consider making a donation to one of these incredible organizations. If you have another charity that you are interested in donating to but are unsure how much of your donation will be funneled into helping those in need, check out the Charity Navigator website.