During this season of giving, you may reflect on how to give back. Many fantastic charities worldwide are doing great work, but if you want to keep it closer to home, these are six charities led by military members, veterans, or spouses that could use your support this season. Read below to find a charity that feels like a good fit to get involved in to make a change!
The Bautista Project
Marla, a military spouse, spearheads the Bautista Project, and they work with Tampa’s houseless community. They provide “basic living essentials, educational resources, support groups, and other necessary resources to assist unhoused community members with reintegration.” They are currently fundraising for transitional housing, and you can choose which of their outreach programs to support, whether blankets, food, or fundraising for their shelter!
Mission Alpha Advocacy
This military veteran and spouse led national nonprofit advocates for improved access to quality healthcare for military families with disabilities and special needs through TRICARE. They lead advocacy efforts on autism care, work to create supportive legislation, and have helped to streamline the referral process for military families to receive specialty referrals before their PCS. This nonprofit is an excellent resource if you have a loved one in the EMFP program.
Military Birth Resource Network and Postpartum Coalition
Giving birth in the military community can be hit or miss, and MBRNPC is looking to change that. They work to “support healthy, safe, and satisfying pregnancies, births, and postpartum experiences through advocacy and policy.” They also labor beyond those experiences to advocate for lactation support, maternal mental health care, and to ensure that where you are stationed does not limit the care you can receive. They also recently launched the Helping Hands program to get more doulas and lactation professionals trained to support military families.
Secure Families Initiative
Four active duty military spouses lead SFI, and it aims to “work together to strengthen the collective voices of military families to act as a diverse and powerful constituency to promote diplomacy and maintain democracy.” SFI helps military families know how to vote and actively teaches them to advocate for their communities, especially on foreign policy and national security issues. If you feel lost in politics, SFI is a beacon of hope to help people vote and to use their voices.
Inspire Up Foundation
Inspire Up™ is behind Giving Military Tuesday, which inspires military communities to do acts of kindness. In its first year, the campaign surpassed the original goal of 1 million people reached and is now at 3.5 million acts of kindness and counting. Inspire Up promotes community building, gives professional, educational, and community Impact Grants, and hosts conferences to connect and encourage attendees.
Leave No Paws Behind USA
If you’ve ever moved with a pet during a PCS, you know how stressful it is. Leave No Paws Behind USA helps military families get their pets to their new location during a PCS with grants, guidance, and online resources. They are also spearheading for congressional change to get pet expenses reimbursed up to a certain amount.
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Written by Aj Smit
Aj Smit is the author of the book Red Thread: Weaving an Embodied Life of Joy, speaker, glitter enthusiast, and professional weaver of Joy. She is a military spouse in S. Korea with a pup and houseplants galore. Aj has led various Red Tents, retreats, and workshops internationally over the last ten years to help others discover how to weave creativity and curiosity into their lives. You can find her on Facebook and Instagram at @TheJoyWeaver and TheJoyWeaver.com