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Tuesday, August 7, 2018

10 Charities Aiding Wounded Soldiers & Their Families

“Freedom and security are precious gifts that we, as Americans, should never take for granted. We must do all we can to extend our hand in times of need to those who willingly sacrifice each day to provide that freedom and security. While we can never do enough to show gratitude to our nation’s defenders, we can always do a little more.” 

Gary Sinise,
Actor & Founder of The Gary Sinise Foundation

National Purple Heart Day commemorates the day in 1782 when General George Washington created the Purple Heart Medal, a military decoration awarded to those wounded or killed while serving in the United States Armed Forces. Today, it’s set apart to recognize and remember recipients of this renowned decoration and their sacrifices.

In honor of National Purple Heart Day, Charity Navigator is sharing a list of 10 outstanding organizations who have been recognized for their efforts to assist injured service members and their families, and the families of fallen service men and women. 

The Gary Sinise Foundation
Serving honor and need

The Gary Sinise Foundation was established under the philanthropic direction of Gary Sinise, an actor and forty-year advocate for the nation’s military and defenders. The Foundation’s outreach supported those who sacrifice to defend the United States: active duty, veterans, first responders, and their families. The Foundation achieves its mission through a number of programs designed to show gratitude for these American heroes through entertainment, family support, and acts of appreciation. The Foundation builds specially adapted homes of severely wounded veterans, hosting daylong morale-boosting celebrations at military medical centers across the country, and providing meals to veterans and their families across the country. The Foundation is committed to ensuring veterans’ sacrifices are never forgotten.

Semper Fi Fund
☆☆☆☆ + Impact
Serving those who preserve our freedom

The Semper Fi Fund was founded by a dedicated group of military spouses at Camp Pendleton in 2003. The Fund provides direct financial assistance and vital programming for combat wounded, critically ill and catastrophically injured service members and their families during hospitalization and recovery. The Fund also helps to provide housing assistance to injured soldiers and their families, opportunities for children of wounded warriors to attend summer camp, canine assistance, and ongoing transportation assistance, along with several other unique programs aimed at easing the transition for wounded soldiers and their families.

Special Operations Warrior Foundation
☆☆☆☆ + Impact
Providing support and assistance to the U.S. military’s special operations community

Special Operations Warrior Foundation was founded in 1980, after the daring attempt to rescue 53 American hostages in Iran, which ended in the tragic loss of 8 servicemen who left behind 17 children. A promise to take care of those 17 children has become the noble mission of the Special Operations Warrior Foundation to educate over 1,200 children and support families of injured service men and women with medical bills. The Foundation provides immediate financial grants to severely combat-wounded and hospitalized Special Operations personnel and their families. It also ensures full financial assistance for post-secondary education to children of Special Operations personnel who lose their lives in the line of duty.

Fisher House Foundation
☆☆☆☆ + Impact
Helping military families

Fisher House Foundation builds comfort homes where military and veterans’ families can stay free of charge while their loved ones are in the hospital. These homes are located at military and VA hospitals around the world and offer comfortable private rooms with community spaces for families sharing similar experiences. The Foundation operates a program to use donated frequent flyer miles to bring family members to the bedside of injured service members as they recover. And, they provide financial support to other military charities, and families and children of injured, disabled, or fallen veterans.

Freedom Service Dogs of America
Free a hero to save a hero!

Freedom Service Dogs of America (FSD) unleashes the potential of shelter dogs by transforming them into custom-trained, life-changing assistance dogs for people in need, including injured servicemembers and veterans. These service dogs are taught to open doors, pick up items, turn on lights, pull wheelchairs, go for help, and a number of other actions. FSD is donor-funded and doesn’t charge its clients for any of its services. They also provide lifetime support for service dogs and their owners.

Air Warrior Courage Foundation
Where camaraderie and caring continue

The Air Warrior Courage Foundation was formed by military aviators to “care for their own.” They work closely with the Red River Valley Fight Pilots Association in Virginia to do so. They provide active duty, guard, reserve, retired military personnel and their families with financial assistance for medical, educational, other extraordinary expenses not covered by current military support systems.

Operation Second Chance
☆☆☆☆ + Impact
Providing support for the soldiers at Walter Reed National Medical Military Center

Operation Second Chance provides support for soldiers and Marines while they are being treated for injuries at Walter Reed National Medical Military Center in Bethesda, Maryland. After servicemembers have been released, the organization helps them with their transition back into active duty or civilian life. The Operation aims to aid in the recovery and rehabilitation of service men and women, assist in the modification of housing to accommodate disabled veterans, assist families of wounded servicemembers, and facilitate the transition of wounded service members back into society.

Hope for the Warriors
☆☆☆☆ + Impact
Restoring: Self - Family - Hope

Hope for the Warriors was founded by military families at Camp Lejeune in 2006, as they witnessed, firsthand, the effects war imparts on service members and their families. The Organization firmly believes those touched by military service can succeed at home by restoring their sense of self, family, and hope. To achieve this, the Organization provides comprehensive support programs for service members, veterans, and military families that are focused on transition, health and wellness, peer engagement, and connections to community resources. 

Operation Homefront
☆☆☆☆ + Impact
Building strong, stable, and secure military families

Operation Homefront’s mission is to build strong, stable, and secure military families so they can thrive -- not simply struggle to get by -- in the communities they have worked so hard to protect. Their programs offer relief by providing critical financial assistance and transitional housing programs, resiliency through permanent housing and caregiver support, and recurring family support to help military families overcome the short-term “bumps in the road” so they don’t become long-term, chronic problems. Over the last 15 years, the Operation has helped more than 3,500 caregivers who provide care and support to injured or disabled servicemembers and veterans.

Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society
☆☆☆☆ + Impact
Making a difference for Sailors, Marines, and their families

Incorporated in 1904, the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society has been meeting the needs of Navy and Marine Corps members, their families, widows, and children for over a century. They aim to provide financial, educational, and other assistance to military members, their families, and survivors in need. They use financial and non-financial resources to identify solutions to meet emerging needs and are committed to using their funds responsibly to help the most people.

These are a just a few of the great organizations serving our nation’s injured and fallen soldiers. Take a look at our Veteran and Military Hot Topic for even more highly-rated charities serving this important population.

Written by Ashley Post, Communications Manager at Charity Navigator.

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1 comment:

Unknown said...

I have been supporting The Gary Sinise Foundation and Operation Homefront, as well as other military oriented charities, for years. Thank you, Charity Navigator, for this list. I will be expanding my giving to the others on your list.