A list of top military and veterans charities. Many charities help veterans, military, and their families, but out of the many, how do we choose which one should receive a donation? That should depend on what the donor is passionate about, but it is also good to know that the charity uses their donations responsibly. Below are some of the highest rated charities that support military and veterans, who are also known to have integrity with their donations.
Charities are divided into three sections, and are in alphabetical order: 1. Charities that support the Military and their families, 2. Charities that support Veterans, and 3. Charities specifically supporting military children, military spouses, and survivors.
The charity list below provides information on top-rated charities whose main purpose is to support veterans, military, and their families. The name of each charity leads directly to the “about” page for further explanation of what they do. Looking at the charity’s programs page, if offered, will also help explain what each charity does.
For more help deciding how to choose a Military or Veteran Charity, visit our article.
Charities that Support the Military and Families
Military Benefits is proud to have partnered with Pay Away The Layaway to support military families by paying off their layaway balances at the Exchanges and retail stores. Pay Away Layaway is a national 501(c)3 non profit all volunteer organization which means most of the money goes directly to military families.
Air Force Aid Society: Assists Airmen and eligible family members in emergencies and with education costs. Air Force Aid Society is considered the official charity of the USAF.
Ways to Give: General donation, education donation, tribute gifts, planned giving, and more.
Armed Services YMCA: Uses programs and services to support military and their families. These programs range from childcare, to food services, to deployment support, and even wounded warrior support, among others.
Get Involved: Monetary, gift, and Volunteer.
Coast Guard Foundation: Offers support to coast guard members by providing education, support, relief, and assistance for families during difficult times.
Ways to give: donate online.
National Military Family Association: The all-encompassing charity for military families, National Military Family Association offers support for military families of all branches. This organization speaks up for military families, provides resources for active duty and their families, supports children and spouses in need, and so much more.
Get Involved: Donate, volunteer, and much more. Visit their website for further detail.
Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society: Partnered with the Navy and Marine Corps to provide need-based assistance for Sailors and Marines, eligible family members, and survivors. This includes financial assistance and counseling, education assistance, disaster relief, assistance for emergency travel, and more.
Ways to give: Donate, knit/crochet/quilt handmade goods, volunteer, teach a workshop, and much more.
Operation Gratitude: Raises morale of military men and women who are deployed or providing disaster relief, by sending care packages addressed individually to servicemembers. Operation Gratitude has sent over 1 million care packages to those serving since 2003.
Ways to give: Volunteer, write personal letters to deployed troops, organize a fundraiser, collect specified goods, fundraise, donate directly, and much more.
Operation Homefront: One of the top-rated military supporting charities in the nation for financial stability. Operation Homefront strives to assist military families with critical assistance, short-term and long-term stability assistance, and programs to offer families recurring support.
Ways to give: Donate online now or by mail, assist families of your choice, donate goods, Volunteer, and more.
Semper Fi Fund: Provides immediate financial support to post 9/11 wounded and critically ill service members from all branches, as well as support for family members. Semper Fi Fund wants to ensure that these service members have the resources they need for recovery and transition back to civilian life.
Donation options: Donate directly, volunteer, donate a vehicle, host a fundraiser, etc.
Support Military Spouses: SMS provides military spouse care packages and assistance with managing finances, finding employment, balancing family life, caring for wounded warriors and honoring the memory of our fallen heroes.
USA Cares: Offers “a hand up not a hand out” to service members, veterans, and survivors in need, and promises a response time of 48 hours to those who apply for financial assistance. Programs include assistance for combat-injured, emergency assistance, housing assistance, and jobs assistance.
Get Involved: Donate directly on their website or get involved.
Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Foundation: Assists military overseas in many ways, especially in boosting morale by offering pre-paid phone time to connect with loved ones, sponsoring admission into popular attractions, and helping families with one-time financial grants to assist with housing or other need. VFW strives to be the organization that “fills in governmental assistance gaps,” and much more, including assistance for veterans and military back home in need.
Donation options: Directly online, by mail, by text, or donate a vehicle.
Charities that Support Veterans
AMVETS: Supports veterans with their transition back into civilian life. AMVETS strives to continue improving and evolving based on the unique needs of the current generation of veterans transitioning to civilian life and stays flexible in order to help veterans to the best of their ability.
Donate: donate directly online, or to their healing heroes program.
Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Charitable Service Trust: A charity for disabled veterans that provides physical and psychological rehabilitation programs for veterans with PTSD, traumatic brain injury, amputated limbs, and other seriously disabling injuries.
Giving Options: Donate directly online or by mail, annually, gift matching, and more.
Hire Heroes USA: Helps transitioning servicemembers, veterans, and spouses across the US find good jobs. Impact lives by helping approximately 60 people per week find sustainable jobs.
Ways to give: Donate, Volunteer, hire a veteran, and more.
Homes for our Troops: Builds specially adapted homes for post 9/11 veterans with physical impairments so they can quickly transition into civilian life. This privately funded organization builds every home mortgage free and has built over 200 homes for disabled veterans, in 42 states, since starting in 2004.
How to help: Volunteer, attend an event, donate online, commit monthly, become a corporate sponsor, and much more.
Honor Flight Network: Honors veterans by transporting veterans to Washington D.C. to visit memorials dedicated to their service in the U.S. Military. Currently, priority is given to WWII survivors and veterans with a terminal illness.
Donate: Donate online, by mail, or offer a corporate sponsorship.
National Veterans Foundation: Offers assistance for veterans and their families facing crisis, including a lifeline for vets. This charity for veterans also provides outreach programs for veterans in need, providing food, clothing, transportation and other resources. Finally, National Veterans Foundation uses programs to advocate awareness for the needs of veterans.
Ways to offer support: Donate directly online or donate a vehicle.
Navy SEAL Foundation: Focused on easing the intensity of life for Navy SEALS and their families, Navy SEAL Foundation offers programs for Active Duty SEAL, Veterans, Families, and Survivors ranging from Educational Opportunities, to Survivor Support, and more. This charity has the highest possible financial rating.
Donate: Donate online, donate Tribute, donate a vehicle, and more.
New England Center and Home for Veterans: Dedicated to improving the lives of homeless Veterans. NECHV offers housing for Veterans, multiple programs to assist needs of homeless Veterans and help them find long-term employment.
Donate: Donate online, Gift-a-Vet, and more.
Next Step Service Dogs: A a non-profit organization providing Service Dogs for Active Military, Veterans, and First Responders with PTSD.
Donate: Donate online, volunteer, and even donate your vehicle.
Puppies Behind Bars: Program trains inmates raise puppies to become either service dogs for veterans who are impaired from the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, or to become working dogs to detect explosives.
Donation options: donate to the program or sponsor a puppy.
Charities that Support the Military Community
Air Force Enlisted Village: A residency located in Florida created in 1967 for a variety of survivors of retirees and survivors of those who perished in active duty Air Force. Occupants must be over the age of 55, though temporary emergency accommodations are available for survivors under the age of 55.
Donation options: Donate online or by mail, designate tribute gift, event sponsorship, vehicle, and more.
Fisher House Foundation Inc.: Provides free lodging for family members of wounded Veterans while their Veteran receives treatment. Maintains homes at Military and VA medical centers throughout the US, as well as Hotels for Heroes Program, which provides free hotel stays at locations where they do not have houses. They also have flight and scholarship programs.
Ways to Give: various monetary gifts, Frequent Flier Miles, Hotels Rewards Points, Combined Federal Campaign (CFC), and cars.
Snowball Express: Honors and connects children who lost a parent who was serving their country by hosting programs and events, especially in the Fort Worth area. They strive to help the children, and even spouses, understand that they are not alone in their loss, and honor the sacrifice of parents who made the ultimate sacrifice while in service.
Support Snowball Express: Donate online or by mail, volunteer, or join sponsors.
Special Operations Warrior Foundation: The main service of this foundation is to provide scholarship grants of full tuition assistance to children of fallen heroes. This organization also offers financial assistance to special operations personnel who are severely wounded or hospitalized.
Ways to Give: Donate now online, by check, donate stock, or much more.
Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS): Offers many programs, resources, and relationships for survivors of fallen military personnel. These include retreats, peer support, survivor outreach and helpline, grief counseling, multiple programs for survivors, and much more. This program is also a top charity in terms of financial responsibility.
Support TAPS: Donate, volunteer, support a program, support at the annual gala, and much more. Visit the TAPS website for more information.
The dedicated organizations above are all great options for anyone wanting to offer support to Military, Veterans, and their families. If you are looking to for information on a charity that is not listed above, visit Charity Navigator, which rates charities based on their financial responsibility, or Guide Star, which gathers information on charities, and sometimes rates them based on their integrity, the impact they have on their communities, and more.
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