Following are some considerations and tips for raising funds for veterans:
– You may feel like you want to jump right into helping out a veteran in your neighborhood, but what you think this person needs or wants may be quite different from what they actually need most desperately. Try to speak to the family directly before you start drumming up help.
– Fundraising for veterans and troops requires extra care and sensitivity. Keep in mind that not everybody likes to have their name mentioned publicly and that the veteran you’d like to help may have health issues.
– The U.S. Postal Service used to accept packages and letters to “Any Service Member” or “Any Wounded Service Member,” but stopped doing so. Consider supporting one of the nonprofit organizations dedicated to helping our veterans and troops and their families.
– Are you planning on starting your own non-profit for helping out veterans and troops? There may already be a charity or a local group out there doing exactly what you’re planning on doing. The advantage of helping out or partnering with an established group is that they will already have a well oiled system in place to get help and support to veterans and troops quickly.
Charities that Support Veterans and Troops:
HomesForOurTroops.org – builds homes for severely injured veterans.
GuardianAngelsForSoldiersPet.org – takes care of a wounded veteran’s pet.
ModestNeeds.org – search for keywords like ‘veteran’ or ‘military family’ and send a donation directly through the site.
Update: Modestneeds.org is now offering the Homecoming Heroes Grant.
OperationGratitude.org – this organizations helps out troops and veterans in many different ways.
CellPhonesForSoldiers.com – provides calling cards for free talk time for troops overseas.
For a larger list of organizations that help out and support our veterans and troops, visit Military.com.
Get more information about a specific non-profit at CharityNavigator.org.
Finally, if you’re planning on raising funds for a veteran in your neighborhood, consider helping in some very simple, basic and personal ways as well: you could offer to help out with driving (or feeding) the kids, taking care of pets or repairing things. An invitation to share a meal may be a welcome distraction for a veteran and an opportunity to share stories about his or her experiences. Being able to talk about one’s experiences (good and bad) can be the best gift of all.