8 Ways to Give Back During the Holidays

The holidays present a great time to give back by donating to the causes you care about most. Sure, the gift-giving, festive lights, and family time are fun, but why not add a new tradition to the holiday season and give a little back to the community? We have 8 ways to help you give back in a personal way to military-focused charities. 

For nonprofits, even a $5 or $10 donation can make a big difference, and there are a ton of options to choose from which makes donating possible for everyone. There are benefits for you too, as many donations are tax-deductible and you’ll get a mood boost from doing something good.

Here are just a few options for military-focused charities. Have any suggestions? Leave them in the comments!

1. For wounded soldiers
Serving United States military personnel, the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund supports wounded and injured service members as well as their families. Since its start, the Fund has opened the Center for the Intrepid, a state-of-the-art rehabilitation center in San Antonio, Texas, as well as the National Intrepid Center of Excellence, which helps service members suffering from traumatic brain injuries and psychological health conditions. The IFHF also launched a new campaign to open Intrepid Spirit centers at military bases across the country, which means the nonprofit needs your help to keep serving injured service members.

2. For giving back with entertainment

Veteran Tickets Foundation’s mission statement is “giving something to those who gave.” The organization provides free event tickets to family members of troops killed in action, as well as current service members and veterans, in an effort to show support and promote a strong quality of life.

3. For victims of sexual assault

Sexual assault in the U.S. military can have devastating consequences for military members and their families. Donating to Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization can have a big impact for survivors. RAINN runs a 24/7 sexual assault hotline, works with policymakers and helps educate Americans on sexual assault prevention, recovery and prosecution. Low on cash? You can donate a used car, van, or truck, or shop from retailers to give.

4. For the families

Military families make sacrifices for their service members, so the National Military Family Association works hard to support them through benefits and programs. Founded in 1969, this nonprofit has awarded more than $2.5 million in scholarships, sent thousands of children to summer camp to cope with deployments of their parents, conducted research on the effects of the military environment on families, and more. You can help yourself and your fellow military spouses by donating to this cause.

5. For the animal lovers

Love animals? Puppies Behind Bars is the nonprofit for you. PBB trains prison inmates to raise service dogs that go to wounded war veterans as well as explosive detection canines for law enforcement. This program helps inmates too, as the puppies show their incarcerated trainers compassion, hope, and pride.

6. For the comfort of home

Fisher House Foundation created a free network of homes for military families to stay in while their service members are undergoing medical treatment. Fisher House’s Hero Miles program, takes advantage of donated frequent flyer miles to relieve family members of transportation costs, and their Hotels for Heroes Program uses donated hotel points to provice a place to stay for families while their loved ones are receiving treatment.

7. For education

With a mission to provide college, technical, and vocational school scholarships, ThanksUSA works to ensure that children and spouses of military personnel can afford a great education. According to their website, ThanksUSA has awarded approximately 3,400 scholarships with a total value of more than $10 million. With how expensive education has gotten, this is a great way to give back to fellow spouses.

8. For your hometown

I’m a big proponent of donating locally. If one of these national charities doesn’t appeal to you, consider which causes you’re passionate about (for me, it’s violence against women and LGBTQAI rights), and find a corresponding charity in your area. Chances are, local organizations need your money even more than nation-wide ones. Plus, if you can only give a little this year, you can find a great volunteer opportunity nearby.

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