Help Military Families
Every year, Independence Day serves as a reminder that our freedom is due to the service and sacrifices of the men and women of the Armed Forces. In the last 16 years, 2.5 million men and women have been deployed overseas, all serving voluntarily. They all face the challenges of military service: from multiple deployments that separate family members to recovering from the wounds of war.
If you need help, or want to give help, a good place to start is right here on our website, where you will find resources and organizations that help veterans and their families. Ideas and useful links are provided throughout this section, which offer various forms of assistance and support. Make a meaningful difference in the lives of our courageous military families, starting today.
With over 200 events a year, Blue Star Families is always in need of passionate volunteers. Blue Star Families’ wide range of programs include career development for military spouses, fun and educational events for children, caregiver support and most importantly, the chance to build community with their Blue Star Neighbors – individuals, business owners and organizations who create a network of support for military families. Learn more about different volunteer positions that are currently available.
Dedicated to 1st Lt Travis Manion, USMC, who made the ultimate sacrifice for the safety of his patrol in 2007, The Travis Manion Foundation unites and strengthens communities of veterans and families of the fallen by training, developing, and highlighting each individual’s strengths as role models through programs, events and other training opportunities.
Housing presents special challenges for disabled veterans who require wheelchair accessibility or other adaptive measures. HFOT builds new mortgage-free homes for disabled veterans so that they, in turn, can build new lives. There are many ways to help HFOT including, acting as a fundraising volunteer, becoming a building partner or running a full or half-marathon with Team HFOT.
The HEADstrong Foundation offers a wide variety of support to cancer patients and their families. Through programs that offer nourishing meals and entertainment to patients, residential housing to the families who may be far from home while their loved one is pursuing a life-saving treatment, and financial aid and a relief fund program to help get through the financial hardships that may arise with a cancer diagnosis.
Team Red, White & Blue helps veterans increase their mental and physical health together as a team. Volunteers at local chapters offer fitness activities, social gatherings and community service events that help facilitate the building of strong local connections with other members and organizations within their communities.
Dog Tag Inc. (DTI) is a fellowship program for service-disabled, military spouses, and caregivers who are looking to find community outside of the military. This five month fellowship offers learning labs and a more holistic, wellness-oriented approach to finding personal and professional fulfillment in the civilian world.
The National Military Family Association was founded in 1969 by a group of military wives who wanted to make sure their widowed friends were properly taken care of. Today, they continue their now wide range of support through a multitude of resources and programs including a Spouse Scholarship program, and Operation Purple which offers a children’s camp, family retreats, healing adventures and buddy camp.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has many ways to volunteer time or donate funds to help our nation’s veterans, including the Volunteer Transportation Network, Welcome Home Events, Stand Down for Homeless Veterans, National Cemeteries Volunteer, National Salute to Veteran Patients and Student Volunteer Program initiatives.
Dog Tag Brewing and Gold Star Families
Committed to honoring and celebrating the lives and legacy of fallen military service members, Dog Tag Brewing works with Gold Star Families to create dedication cans to raise awareness for the fallen and continue their legacy. More than that, Dog Tag Brewing also provides grants to legacy-building initiatives and broad-spectrum training and mentoring programs.
Veterans Coming Home, a campaign to bridge the civilian-military divide through public media, has teamed up with nonprofit partners to aggregate a wealth of resources for active military service members, veterans and their families. Find assistance with everything from healthcare to healing through the arts.
This foundation currently has seven programs serving defenders, veterans, first responders, their families and those in need. R.I.S.E. provides adaptive homes and vehicles, and wheel/track chairs; Lt. Dan Band lifts morale for service members at home and abroad; Resiliency + Relief Outreach is for those recovering from trauma and in urgent need; Invincible Spirit Festivals are family celebrations held at military medical hospitals; the Ambassadors Council raises awareness; and Serving Heroes feeds service members in transit at major airports. The foundation supports numerous charities as well.
The Military and Veterans Crisis Line
Help is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year for veterans in crisis and their families and friends. If you or someone you know is experiencing the symptoms of emotional distress, including thoughts of suicide, immediate help is available by calling 1-800-273-8255 (Press 1).Confidential help is also available in a chat online, or by sending a text message to 838255.