WIth between our Olympic success and upcoming political elections, it’s a big time for American national pride. The nerds are part of the excitement as well, and we felt like doing something patriotic. Today, we are honoring the organizations that serve the veterans and family members of America’s Military. They are dedicated organizations doing innovative and valuable work to support the people and families who keep us safe and put America’s interests ahead of their own. We thank them for their hard work and honor them with our list of the top 5 military support nonprofits.
Little Patriots Embraced: Tackling the stress of military families
Little Patriots Embraced (LPE) seeks to reduce the emotional and psychological stress that is placed onto military families. These families deal with separation, relocation, instability, and the potential loss of a loved one. The burden on our nation’s military families is a great one, and LPE looks to make it a little easier. With an emphasis on helping the children of these families, they provide several stress reducing programs, including their Family Deployment Package that contains stress reducing items and a book for children dealing with issues that come with deployment. They also offer financial support for childcare and emergencies, as well as covering tuition for summer camps through their MD-TEC Fund. They are constantly looking for additional funds, partners, and corporate sponsorships to expand these programs. LPE distinguishes itself through these innovative support networks and challenges itself to deal with both the tangible and intangible hardships that military families face. This is no small task, and NerdWallet recognizes their efforts.
Liberty Manor for Veterans: For committing to dignity, respect, and acknowledgement
Serving the community of Tampa Bay, Florida, Liberty Manor for Veterans addresses the social and developmental needs of homeless veterans who have bravely served the nation and were honorably discharged. Connie Blaney, after working as a Board Member of the Hillsborough County Homeless Coalition, founded the nonprofit organization in 2006. The main goal of Liberty Manor for Veterans is to provide shelter services not just for veterans with substance abuse issues, but for all honorable veterans who face homelessness. The program has grown into four residential houses that provide shelter and counseling to homeless veterans, including support information on how to become self-sustaining again. Liberty Manor for Veterans also invests back into local communities through partnerships in order to address the social issues which contribute to homelessness. These strategic partnerships help to address the gaps in care and service in government programs and spread awareness about veterans who have served our country and deserve community support. To date, Liberty Manor for Veterans is responsible for countless success stories and continues to provide for veterans every day. This caring network of volunteers means business. Their growth, dedication, and strategic investments and partnerships make Liberty Manor for Veterans one of our top military support nonprofits.
Got Your 6: Awareness of reintegration
Got Your 6 is a nonprofit military organization dedicated to changing the national perception of veterans and military families. They promote awareness of the noble sacrifices and actions of those serving the country and the families that support them in hopes of connecting military families with the civilian populations. According to Got Your 6, more than 1 million servicemen and women will reenter civilian life in the next 5 years, and it is important that they are rightly viewed as the civic assets that they are so they can reinvigorate our nation’s communities. The actual phrase “got your six” refers to a partner having your back (your six o’clock), and that is the real ethos behind this generous nonprofit. They connect with other grassroots nonprofit organizations on a widespread awareness campaign to change cultural perceptions. Got Your 6 also focuses on what it believes are the “six pillars of reintegration,” which are the key factors to veterans coming home and transitioning into productive civilians. These areas include jobs, education, health, housing, family, and leadership. Got Your 6 has partner organizations in each one of these areas to bring effective change, and all the goals are planned and measured in quantifiable terms to ensure that good work is being done and completed. These guys work hard to support our veterans, covering all fronts of reintegration and awareness, and we support their efforts.
Our Military Kids: Helping the children of those who serve
Our Military Kids offers real, tangible support to the children of America’s servicemen and women. Through generous grants, they provide support for the offspring of those who are deployed or injured in the National Guard and Military Reserve personnel. These grants go to the necessary activities that sustain kids while their parents are serving or recovering, including sports activities, fine arts programs, and academic tutoring. Operating since 2004, Our Military Kids devotedly offers its grant services to school-aged children all across the country. And their work and resources are truly praise-worthy. Our Military Kids has never denied any eligible child for a grant, and they are able to budget themselves so that 95% of every dollar donated goes to support these kids. They can do this with generous volunteer work and efficient administrative work, making it possible to best serve those kids in need. In addition to accepting donation money from corporations, organizations, and generous individuals, Our Military Kids also puts on numerous creative fundraisers. They host their own in the Washington, DC area, but encourage others to help start others locally with ideas and advising. There is also a vehicle donation program that brings in additional money to offer to military kids. These guys stretch their dollars and make a difference. They even supported Olympic Gold Medalist Gaby Douglas in gymnastics! We love their innovation and financial savvy, and hope they get the support they need to keep on giving.
TAPS: Caring for the families of fallen heroes
Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) offers resources 24/7 for anyone who has lost a military loved one, regardless of circumstances of the relationship or the death. They offer a free help and information line for continuous help, and they also work to provide comprehensive care and service to grieving individuals. TAPS tackles these problems in times of distress by offering peer emotional support, grief and trauma counseling, case work assistance, and by connecting people with local services within their communities. TAPS has been providing these services since 1994, and in that time has helped an impressive 35,000 family members, casualty officers, and caregivers who have all survived military personnel. They hold both national and regional Survivor Seminars and Good Grief Camps to provide comfort and detailed in-person advice and care to any one who has suffered this kind of loss. They also engage in interactive fundraising, including marathons and other running events, golf tournaments, and retreats. TAPS covers all the bases of grief and builds a safety net for survivors to fall back on when times are tough. Their innovation, counseling, and round the clock commitment are what helped TAPS make our list. Keep it up!