4 military charities to donate to on #GivingTuesday

The unofficial day was started to promote giving and kindness after a weekend of spending

4 military charities to donate to on #GivingTuesday

World War II veterans sit back and enjoy each other’s company as a crowd of military supporters take their photos during an Honor Flight event at the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., on April 26, 2014. (Marine Corps Photo by Cpl. Antwaun Jefferson)

By Military1 Staff

After a whirlwind weekend of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday emptying your wallet for the holidays, it’s time to sit back and consider those less fortunate than ourselves.

Today is Giving Tuesday, an unofficial day started in 2012, when people are encouraged to donate money and time to a charity or cause designed to make the world a better place.

In the military world, there is no shortage of amazing organizations that work tirelessly to help our active duty, reserve, and guard troops, their families, our veterans and our wounded warriors. If you often think about donating during the year, but never get around to it, maybe the idea of #GivingTuesday will help remind you.

1. Semper Fi Fund

With a 98.23 rating on Charity Navigator, you can guarantee any donations given to the Semper Fi Fund will be used wisely. The organization provides “financial assistance and lifetime support” to wounded service members from all branches. Since its inception in 2004, the Semper Fi Fund has awarded more than $160 million in assistance to post-9/11 troops who need help.

Through Dec. 31, all donations will be matched dollar-for-dollar, up to $10 million, by the Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation. Visit the Semper Fi Fund website to give and have your donation matched.

2. Hire Heroes USA

Transitioning from the military into the civilian world and finding employment is one of the hardest things any service member will have to do. Hire Heroes USA’s goal is to make that transition less scary and take the guesswork out of job hunting. They will assign a personal job coach that offers free career coaching, helping veterans understand what job recruiters are looking for and how to translate their military careers into relatable skills that will get them hired.

Donate to Hire Heroes USA and help make a difference for veterans who are making that jump to the private sector.

3. Snowball Express

The sacrifice of military life doesn’t always land on the shoulders of the service member; the families of military troops are asked to sacrifice many things, as well. For the children of fallen service members, life will never be the same. The Snowball Express aims to provide a safe, fun place for kids who lost a parent while they were serving, allowing them to talk with others who share their experience of grief and resilience.

Every December, children whose parent died while serving on active duty are eligible to participate in four days of fun activities that include sporting events, amusement park visits and more. Donate to the Snowball Express to help provide this amazing experience to children who have sacrificed so much for their country.

4. Honor Flight Network

Every year, hundreds of thousands of people flock to national war monuments, hoping to pay tribute to the brave men and women who have sacrificed so much for the U.S. throughout our history. But many veterans—indeed, the very veterans those monuments were erected to honor—may never have a chance to see them in person. The Honor Flight Network is trying to change that, by providing flights around the country to veterans and providing them with a trip to see these memorials that stand for their service and the sacrifice of their fellow service members.

Donate to the Honor Flight Network, and help our nation’s veterans see these physical manifestations of our nation’s gratitude for their service.