Whether or not you partake in Valentine's Day festivities, it's important to remember that there are some incredibly brave men and women who can't be home with their loved ones on February 14. It may be difficult to find the words to say thank you to the men and women who make this sacrifice to serve our country or to know which charities to support. Here's a list of 11 amazing non-profits that serve soldiers in some way!
Please know this is not a definitive list and any company you support will have an impact.
What They Do: K9s For Warriors rescues and trains shelter dogs to be paired as service dogs for veterans with post-traumatic stress. traumatic brain injury, and sexual trauma associated with their service. K9s for Warriors works to end veteran suicide and saves the lives of heroes and dogs alike.
How To Get Involved: If you're near Camp K9 in Florida: you can raise a puppy, foster an in-training dog, or volunteer on the campus. If you're elsewhere, you can host or find a community event to fundraise. Explore all ways to give here.
What They Do: Founded by a veteran who struggled with his PTSD, Heroes Homestead was created to be a safe haven for our country's heroes and their families. Veterans, service members, and first responders can visit the homestead in Clayton, WA (and soon Worley, ID) for an event or for a drop in visit.
What They Do: You're probably already familiar with the United Service Organization, but we wanted to highlight their USO Wish book. Gift items range in price from $13-$300 and can be sent to soldiers on active duty or veterans. You directly control where your donated funds go. For $15, (three trips to Starbucks,) you can add books to a USO Library or send service members a pack of comfort food. $29 funds a phone call home. $59 will give a hero the chance to record themselves reading a bedtime story to their children.
What They Do: Hope For the Warriors provides support programs focused on health and wellness, peer engagement, and connections to community resources. The organization was founded by military families at the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejune, NC in 2006. Some of their programming includes job assistance, driving rehabilitation, counseling, and outdoor adventures.
What They Do: As their name implies, this organization creates homes for veterans. They work specifically to craft specially adapted homes for severely injured modern war veterans to rebuild their lives. Once a veteran is in their new home, HFOT provides a financial planner for 3 years, and connects them with a network of peers.
What They Do: The Fisher House Foundation builds comfort homes where military and veterans' families can stay for free while a loved one is in the hospital. The homes are located all over the world at military and VA Centers. Each house has at least 21 suites that have private bedrooms and bathrooms with common living spaces, kitchens, and laundry facilities for families. Fisher House also runs the Hero Miles Program and Hotels For Heroes program.
What They Do: DAV is celebrating their 100th Anniversary this year, and they have worked to provide a lifetime of support for veterans of all generations. They provide rides for disabled veterans, host job fairs for vets, and much more.
What They Do: Operation Gratitude coordinates collection drives, letter writing campaigns. craft projects, and care package assembly events so everyone can help say thank you to our troops. Operation Gratitude sends over 300,000 individually addressed care packages to deployed troops, veterans, and their families.
What They Do: UTR connects military families who are separated to share Storytime. Founded by the wife of a Vietnam veteran over 30 years ago, the service allows active military members to form a bond with their children while they're far apart. Soldiers are recorded reading a story, and their children read along with the video. The children get to see their loved one's face while developing a love for learning.
10. Any Soldier
What They Do: In short, Any Soldier keeps a database of troops from all branches of the military. You can pick any soldier to send them a letter or a care package.
How to Get Involved: Instead of reading what we have to say about it, follow this link to explore their database and consider reaching out to a hero.
11. Soldier's Angels
What They Do: They do a Valentines for Veterans campaign every year for the Day of Love, but they offer support programs for the other 364 days of the year as well! Their motto is "May no soldier go unloved" and their mission is to provide aid, comfort, and resources to military personnel.
What are some of your favorite organizations that support America's Soldiers? Share in the comments below!