Thursday, April 7, 2016

Military Charities You Should Know About

     If you have watched the news in the last few months, you've seen military organizations like Wounded Warrior Project come under scrutiny. They have been accused of everything from suing other veteran's charities to spending donations on lavish trips.

This has left many people like myself wondering, "How can I know my money is truly going to toward what is promised?"

Instead of giving out wedding favors, we decided that donating the money instead. Besides, most people leave the favors behind and you are left with a ton of monogramed wine glasses. This led me to ask fellow spouses, look through charity watchdog sites, and do some searching of my own.

I was able to find several charities that are not as well known as Wounded Warrior but are making vital contributions to the military family.

1. Legacies Alive
  Founded my two Army veterans, Legacies Alive aims to provide support to Gold Star Families and bring awareness to communities about those who have died in battle. What was started as two friends hiking across the United States to bring awareness to our fallen heroes has become a mission to unite Gold Star families and work toward memorializing those who have died. This group also had a Navy vet swim across the Mississippi River to honor the fallen and met with their families along the way.

2. Wear Blue: Run to Remember 
   Lisa Hallett and Erin O'Connor are two army wives sought to bring their fellow wives together while their husbands were deployed by starting a running club. Lisa's husband CPT John Hallett was killed and she started running even more to cope with the loss. Wear Blue has become a way for Gold Star families, veterans, and civilians to run in honor of those who have died in combat. They have active chapters across the United States and are participants in many nationwide events like the Army Ten Miler and Marine Corps Marathon.

3. The Mission Continues
 Founder Eric Greitens sought to create an organization to allow veterans to be involved in their community after their military career ends. Prior service members as well as civilians are able to better their communities through various volunteer opportunities like building play grounds, planting gardens, and being able to gain work experience. It is an opportunity for post 9/11 veterans to feel a deeper connection to their community outside of the military.

4. Angels of America's Fallen
  This organization focuses on providing Gold Star children with activities and role models that shape them into well rounded adults. They cover the costs of activities such as swimming, art classes, marching band that Gold Star families would otherwise not be able to afford. The also provide positive mentors to these children to support them. Want to see how great this group is? Just check out the posts to their facebook page. It is FULL of grateful families and smiling faces of children doing what they love.

5. Help Our Military Heroes
 Started by military mothers, Help Our Military Heroes gives injured vets a chance to be independent and mobile again. The funds donated go toward modified vehicles to allow wounded vets to travel either independently or more comfortably. Each van is specifically designed for each vet's needs and they have been able to donate almost 50 vans! These vans are not cheap to modify at all and they waste no expense to make sure these vets have their freedom back.

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