The printed white words on the back of a young person’s black tee shirt read, “We’ve got your back.”
Those four words connote a sense of being prepared to help or defend someone, to look out for another individual in case they need assistance.
To have another’s back is a noble act; it is about caring enough to help another, and one could even argue that protecting another is an act of charity.
But charity is not only an act of caring, it is also a willingness to offer a gift with the intent of helping others.
Being charitable in what one gives to help others is generous and humane. To this end, what follows is a list of ten of the best veterans’ organizations to consider supporting through a financial donation.
Top Ten Veterans’ Organizations
This organization constructs comfort homes for military and veterans’ families where they can stay free of charge while a loved one is in the hospital. Since the start, the program has these families an estimated $451 million in out-of-pocket expenses for lodging and transportation.
Over 91 percent of every dollar raised is applied to support defenders and their families. Those dollars help build adapted smart homes, help Gold Star Families bond with peers, and help First Responders acquire the equipment needed to make their jobs safer. Read more about Sinise and his work here.
This nonprofit organization builds and donates specifically built homes for severely injured post 9/11 veterans. Built where veterans choose to live, HFOR maintains a relationship with them after home delivery.
This veteran service organization provides post 9/11 service members, their families, and the families of the fallen with assistance in transition, health and wellness, peer engagement, and connections to community resources.
One hundred percent of all donations go to the fund’s mission of building Intrepid Spirit Centers in order to treat military personnel suffering from the effects of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
For some the mission is not over, and this organization works to connect veterans – with their drive and desire to serve others – with underserved communities in order to improve educational resources, increase access to parks, and to foster neighborhood identity.
With the task of helping military families needing help with the rent or mortgage payments, major repairs, utility bills or groceries, this organization has fulfilled over 41,000 requests from military families needing a hand up.
“Always Faithful” characterizes this fund has it provides immediate financial assistance and lifetime support to combat wounded, critically ill and catastrophically injured members of all branches of the military to ensure that no one gets left behind.
9. Team Rubicon
When Mother Nature flexes a muscle or two in the form of natural disasters, this team of military veterans – which has performed over $28 million in volunteer labor since 2013 – is there to provide disaster response both here and abroad.
Realizing that the families of the combat wounded suffer as well, this organization’s family programs provide retreats to wounded veterans and their families free of charge to provide a break from the pressures of everyday life.
How to Make Your Donation Count
To ensure that your donation gets to where it is needed, here are some precautions to bear in mind:
- Do not give cash. Legitimate charities will take a check.
- Do not – I repeat, do not – give credit card, bank account or personnel information to telemarketers saying they represent a veterans’ related charity.
- Beware newly formed organizations. If the charity is new, you should ask for references.
- Expect specific information. Ask what kind of relief the charity provides. Do not give money to a vague appeal.
- Do not allow yourself to be pressured. Anyone who cannot wait for a donation while you check out the organization’s credentials is apt to be an impostor.
- Use national, state and local authorities to learn more about a charity. You can search for specific non-profit organizations on the IRS website.
- Do not give in to internet appeals if the cause does not look legitimate. Electronic frauds provide con artists with easy access to pose as a charity.
- If you suspect fraud, report it to the nearest Better Business Bureau and your state’s Attorney General’s office. You can also report abuses to the National Fraud Information Center at (800) 876-7060 or at Fraud.org.
Asclepius, the Greek god of medicine, reputedly said, “We rise by lifting others up.”
And by having their backs.
To learn more about veterans’ organizations to support, click here.