Supporting Our Troops
The primary mission of the Legacy Project is to encourage Americans to seek out and preserve wartime letters and e-mails so that future generations will better understand the sacrifices made by our nation's veterans and troops, as well as their families. We also hope that this project will bring attention to the importance of supporting these individuals and letting them know how grateful we are to them for their service.
We would especially like to work with churches and synagogues that want to take a more active role in supporting military personnel and their loved ones. Faith is integral to the morale of many servicemen and women, and it means a great deal to them when places of worship reach out to show their appreciation. Churches and synagogues can help in many ways, including by encouraging their congregations to send care packages, phone cards, and letters to troops stationed overseas; organize a fundraiser for a local charity that aids members of the armed forces and their families; or “adopt” a local military base, Fisher House, or some other facility that cares for veterans.
There are many non-profit organizations working to assist our troops and their loved ones, and the following links and contact information, which are listed alphabetically, are provided for those who would like to learn more about helping.
(Please note: By listing an organization, the Legacy Project is not necessarily implying an endorsement. Also, the information in each organization's description was taken from its own website. We will update this list as frequently as possible, and we welcome feedback from visitors to this site.)
Adopt-a-Chaplain is a Christ-centered ministry that is dedicated to supporting our troops through the ministries of Chaplains. By Adopting Chaplains (and their families) we pray for and communicate with them regularly. We send modern day "care packages" to chaplains serving in the Middle East. They distribute the items to our troops.
America Supports You
"America Supports You, a nationwide program launched by the Department of Defense, recognizes citizens' support for our military men and women and communicates that support to members of our Armed Forces at home and abroad."
American Gold Star Mothers
"American Gold Star Mothers is an organization of mothers who have lost a son or daughter in the service of our country."
"Any Soldier Inc. started in August 2003 as a simple family effort to help the soldiers in one Army unit. However, due to overwhelming requests, on 1 January, 2004 the Any Soldier effort was expanded to include any member of any of the Armed Services in harms way. All Soldiers involved in the effort are military volunteers stationed in areas that are in harms way. You may send your support (letters and/or packages) addressed to them and when they see the "Attn: Any Soldier" line in their address they put your letters and packages into the hands of Soldiers who don't get much or any mail first."
The Coalition to Salute America's Heroes
“The Coalition to Salute America's Heroes was created to provide a way for individuals, corporations and others to help our severely wounded and disabled Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom veterans and their families rebuild their lives.”
Coast Guard Foundation
"The Coast Guard Foundation, Inc. is a public nonprofit organization that provides annual funding to support the men and women of the U.S. Coast Guard and Coast Guard Academy. The Foundation's fund-raising efforts address morale and education needs not met through traditional governmental and military funding sources. The Foundation supports morale projects, scholarships, a holiday calling card program, capital improvements, and education grants. The Foundation distributes funding among all nine Coast Guard districts, overseas units and the Academy."
Disabled American Veterans
"DAV is made up exclusively of men and women disabled in our nation's defense. It is dedicated to one, single purpose: building better lives for all of our nation's disabled veterans and their families. The mission is carried forward by providing free, professional assistance to veterans and their families, representing the needs of disabled veterans and their families in state and local government, and providing a structure through which disabled veterans can express their compassion for their fellow veterans through a variety of volunteer programs."
Fisher House - Helping Military Families
"Supporting America's military in their time of need, we provide 'a home away from home' that enables family members to be close to a loved one at the most stressful time-during hospitalization for an illness, disease or injury. Annually, the Fisher House program serves more than 8,500 families, and have made available more than two million days of lodging to family members since the program originated in 1990."
Freedom Calls Foundation
"Throughout history, tours of duty in wartime have served to separate families. We are deploying state-of-the art technology to transform the experience of soldiers on extended deployments to war zones. Soldiers may now attend and participate in milestone family events such as graduations, births, birthdays and weddings etc. via video conference over the Freedom Calls Network. One Army General recently observed that our effort represents the single greatest boost in morale for the troops in the past 25 years. Our mission is to build a communications network independent of military networks employing state of the art Wi-Fi, VOIP telephony, Video Conferencing and Satcom technology to enable our troops to communicate free of charge from their base camps with their families at home by internet telephone, instant messaging and video conference."
From Us to You
From US to You is a non-profit, volunteer organization dedicated to serving U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. We are based in Charlottesville, VA and support the troops through donations, letters, and care packages. As a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, From US to You is supported by the Living Stones Ministries as well as individuals, communitities, corporations, and fun raising events. Our goal is to raise the morale of our troops and to remind them that they are not forgotten and that we here at home are grateful for their service.
Gold Star Wives
"Gold Star Wives of America, Inc. is here for all active duty and service connected widows and widowers. This military survivors organization has been serving war widows from all conflicts and service-connected disabilities since it was founded in 1945."
Hire Vets First
"HireVetsFirst is a comprehensive career website for hiring veterans of America's military. The site is designed for managers, human resources specialists and for veterans seeking employment. "
The Home of the Brave Quilt Project
The Home of the Brave Quilt Project is making replica Civil War Soldiers Quilts (48" by 84") to honor America's Fallen Heroes from Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Groups or individuals in approximately 48 states have presented close to 2000 quilts to the families of the fallen.
International Bible Society (IBS) - Military Chaplain Outreach Scripture Fund
IBS has provided Scriptures to members of the U.S. military in every major conflict and durng peace since the War of 1812. Today U.S. military are "on call" day in and day out, every minute of ever hour. we support these men and women, firmly confident that every soldier should have a Bible. In 2006, IBS distributed more than 193,000 NIV Military Bibles, in both English and Spanish, through military chaplains who channeled them directly to our active duty men and women stationed in Afghanistan, Iraq, Germany, and other stations around the world.
Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund
"The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund is constructing a world-class state-of-the-art advanced training skills facility at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. The center will serve military personnel who have been catastrophically disabled in operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The center will also serve military personnel and veterans severely injured in other operations and in the normal performance of their duties, combat and non-combat related."
Marine Comfort Quilts
“Marine Comfort Quilt Group is a not for profit ministry whose objective is to provide a memorial quilt of comfort to the next of kin of our fallen military. Our quilts are made from thirty quilt squares, each containing an inspirational message from it's donor or another serviceman. Our quilts are stitches of love from those who want so badly to bring comfort, but don't know how to help. Our Marine Comfort Quilt Group has now decided to take on a greater project. With the War on Iraq, we have lost many Marines. Our initial project was to make one quilt for each family of a fallen Marine, but we have since expanded this project to include all members of our Armed Forces that gave their life in this war. We are praying that soon these quilts will no longer be needed, but until then, we will not stop stitching until each family has been provided a small gift of comfort.”
Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation
"The mission of this organization is to encourage the spiritual, moral, intellectual and physical development of children through education. Since 1995, the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation has distributed scholarship assistance valued over $23,000,000.00. These scholarships have primarily been awarded to children of the United States Marine Corps, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Secret Service, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms, the United States Marshals Service, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, and the Federal Air Marshal Service."
"The MarineParents.com web site is for parents (Moms AND Dads), spouses, family and friends of our Marines and Recruits to gather for support during boot camp, training, active duty, floats, and deployments. All Marine and Recruit family members and friends are welcome to join. The mission includes four distinct areas: Research and providing reliable resources for information about the United States Marine Corps; providing the web site along with various online communications as a means for parents, spouses, family and friends of Marines and Recruits around the world to connect with each other; sharing personal news, stories, and letters related to our Marines and Recruits to help other parents, spouses, family and friends feel more connected to their Marine or Recruit; providing emotional and spiritual support and encouragement to each other and our Marines and Recruits."
"MilitaryHOMEFRONT is the official Department of Defense web site for reliable Quality of Life information designed to help troops and their families, leaders and service providers."
National Military Family Association
"NMFA exists to educate military families concerning their rights, benefits and services available to them and to inform them regarding the issues that affect their lives and to promote and protect the interests of military families by influencing the development and implementation of legislation and policies affecting them. For more than 35 years the National Military Family Association has been the leading expert on military family issues." One innovative NMFA program to which donors may contribute is the Operation Purple summer camp. "Since the beginning of the War on Terror, NMFA has heard from families asking for resources to help their children face these new challenges, especially those related to the deployment of one or both of their parents. The Operation Purple summer camp program was created by NMFA in order to give the children the tools to face these challenges head-on and with success. Through the generous funding from Sears, Roebuck & Co. and its Sears American Dream Campaign, the Operation Purple summer camp program was launched in the summer of 2004 and expanded in 2005."
"Hundreds of thousands of American troops are deployed indefinitely in remote parts of the world, including the Middle East, Afghanistan, Africa, the Korean Peninsula and on ships throughout international waters. The physical conditions they must endure are difficult and they may be separated from loved ones for long periods of time. OPERATION GRATITUDE seeks to lift troops' morale, and bring a smile to their faces by sending care packages to service members overseas. OPERATION GRATITUDE care packages contain food, toiletries, entertainment items and personal letters of appreciation, all wrapped with good wishes of love and support. Through Collection Drives, Letter Writing Campaigns and Donations of requested items or funds for shipping expenses, OPERATION GRATITUDE provides civilians anywhere in America a way to express their respect and appreciation to the men and women of the U.S. military in an active, hands-on manner. "
Operation Homefront provides emergency assistance and morale to our troops, to the families they leave behind, adn to wounded warriors when they return home. A nonprofit 501(c)3 founded after September 11, Operation Homefront leads more than 2,500 volunteers in 26 chapters nationwide. Since its inception, Operation Homefront has provided critical assistance to more than 40,000 military families in need. Our goal is to expand assistance to an additional 15,000 families in 2006.
"Operation Homelink is a non-profit (501-C3) organization with a mission of facilitating email communication between American service members deployed overseas and their families back home. Most members of our military have email access on ships and even in desert outposts. Often times however, lower income families are not able to afford a computer and must rely on expensive phone calls or slow postal service to stay in touch. Operation Homelink addresses this problem by providing a free refurbished computer to the spouse or parents of troops within the lowest level pay grades (E1-E5). With help from supporters including Northrop Grumman, Dell, United Van Lines, CDW, and Southwest Airlines, to date we have successfully linked over 1,300 military families. Large donations of used computers are needed for us to help the thousands of qualified military families wishing to communicate with their deployed loved one."
Operation Kid Comfort
“Created at Ft. Bragg/Pope Air Force Base in Fayetteville, N.C., in 2004, ASYMCA’s Operation Kid Comfort is designed to address the emotional stress that children of military personnel suffer during a parent’s absence from home. Operation Kid Comfort serves children, ages 5 and under, of deployed service members. ASYMCA volunteers collect photographs from military families to make “photo-transfer” quilts that bear the images of the deployed family member, alone or interacting with the family. With the help of local quilting artists, volunteers are taught the basic steps of quilt making, how to crop and scan pictures, preparation of the fabric, and use of equipment. Photographs of the deployed parent are scanned into a computer, printed, and then placed onto the fabric. The quilt is then given to the child to play with, sleep with, or use to comfort them from the grief of missing their deployed parent.”
"Operation Uplink is a unique program that keeps military personnel and hospitalized veterans in touch with their families and loved ones by providing them with a free phone card. Using contributions from supporters like you, Operation Uplink purchases phone cards and distributes them to servicemen and women who are separated from those they care about."
Paralyzed Veterans of America
Spinal Cord Injury Education and Training Foundation
"PVA works to maximize the quality of life for its members and all people with spinal cord injury or disease (SCI/D) as a leading advocate for health care, SCI/D research and education, veterans' benefits and rights, accessibility and the removal of architectural barriers, sports programs, and disability rights."
Quilts of Valor Foundation
“The mission of the QOV Foundation is to cover ALL combat wounded servicemembers whether physical or psychological with wartime quilts called Quilts of Valor (QOVs). The wounded servicemembers from the War on Terror are to be considered first and foremost. The second mission is to teach our children how to sew QOVs. This skill will teach sewing skills in addition to becoming civically involved and volunteering for the betterment of our nation.”
Special Operations Warrior Foundation
"The Special Operations Warrior Foundation provides college scholarship grants for tuition, books, fees, room & board for the surviving children of special operations personnel killed in an operational mission or training accident. Currently the foundation is committed to providing scholarships for more than 600 children. In 2005, SOWF provided a total of $916,586 in scholarship grants, educational programs and financial counseling for 109 students at colleges and universities across the country."
"Strength for Service"
Service men and women around the world today are being inspired by the pocket devotional "Strength for Service." More than one million copies of this book were first distributed during World War II and the Korean conflict before it went out of print. Fifty years later, a young boy named Evan Hunsberger was inspired by his grandfather's worn copy and began working to republish the book as his Eagle Scout project. Since "Strength for Service's" release in 2002, the book has been distributed to 250,000 people of all denominations. The books have been given to troops deploying to the Middle East, and they have also been sent to institutions caring for the wounded. However, with new developments, thousands of troops have a need for this moving and relevant devotional.
TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors)
"The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, Inc., is a one of a kind non-profit Veteran Service Organization offering hope, healing, comfort and care to thousands of American armed forces families facing the death of a loved one each year. The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) provides a wonderful support network for the surviving families of those who have died in service to America. TAPS has experienced, empathetic caseworkers who act as liaisons, assisting the family members in finding solutions to problems. TAPS receives absolutely no government funding, but through the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs, all families faced with a death of one serving in the Armed Forces receive information about TAPS and our military survivor programs."
United Service Organization (USO)
"The USO is a private, nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide morale, welfare and recreation-type services to our men and women in uniform. The original intent of Congress - and enduring style of USO delivery - is to represent the American people by extending a touch of home to the military. The USO currently operates more than 120 centers worldwide, including seven mobile canteens located in the continental United States and overseas. Overseas centers are located in Germany, Italy, the United Arab Emirates, Japan, Qatar, Korea, Afghanistan, Guam, and Kuwait. Service members and their families visit USO centers more than 5 million times each year."
United We Serve
"United We Serve is a not-for-profit, faith-based organization whose mission is to adopt troops and their families during their entire deployment and to provide peace of mind to our soldiers with the knowledge that someone is there to care for and walk alongside their loved ones during this time of separation. Through networking and facilitating with individuals and other organizations, United We Serve considers it our Charge to Keep to stand in the gap, not only by providing a wide variety of practical, hands-on support and resources for our troops and their families, but also by creating a broader community awareness of the sacrifices of our military and their families; and ultimately, offering everyone the opportunity to 'Serve our Military As They Serve Us.'"
"The Unmet Needs Program is administered by the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). Donations of skill, time and money enable the Unmet Needs Program to provide assistance of many kinds to families of American service men and women here at home. 100% of donations go directly to a military family in need."
The Wounded Warrior Project
"The Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) was founded on the principle that veterans are our nation's greatest citizens. The WWP seeks to assist those men and women of our armed forces who have been severely injured during the conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other locations around the world. Many of the injuries are traumatic amputations, gunshot wounds, burns and blast injuries that will retire these brave warriors from military service. At the Wounded Warrior Project we provide programs and services designed to ease the burdens of the wounded and their families, aid in the recovery process, and smooth their transition back to civilian life."