Has the concept of #GivingTuesday brought out your Spirit of Christmas Present or your miserly ol’ Scrooge? Even when it comes to military charities and nonprofits?
I don’t know about you, but I’ve had hundreds of emails in the past week or so begging me to spend like crazy on Black Friday or run up my credit card on Cyber Monday or givegivegive on #GivingTuesday.
The onslaught of these messages doesn’t make me feel generous. Instead the sheer number of them has me feeling like Scooge, stacking up my pennies with my freezy old fingers like there just aren't enough in the world.
But some part of me (probably the part that goes walking around among my fellow man and wondering about that homeless vet) recognizes that #GivingTuesday really is a great movement. It started only a couple of years ago, urging people worldwide to harness their giving this time of year.
As Charles Dickens said so perfectly, "At this festive season of the year… it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the Poor and destitute, who suffer greatly at the present time.”
While our active duty military have a paycheck and a housing allowance that puts them way ahead of the truly destitute, this is a time when nonprofits that serve military families are figuring out their budgets for next year and trying to decide how they can continue their mission.
There are more than 40,000 nonprofits registered with the Internal Revenue Service that include the word “military” in their mission statement. I read recently that the majority of nonprofits in this country function on less than $250,000 per year. That means that every dollar you give does make a difference.
And there are so many good nonprofits to choose from. While we can’t make recommendations about which nonprofits deserve your charitable dollar, at SpouseBuzz we do get the opportunity to write about many of the ones that serve military.
Read about Army widow Kryste Buoniconti whose charity Live Your Love Loud raises money for adoptions and widow care and foster child outreach. We were also inspired this year by Lisa Hallett’s Wear Blue movement in which people run to remember.
Or if PTSD is one of your concerns, look at REBOOT recovery, a nonprofit focused on the spiritual aspects of PTSD recovery. Or look into what Operation Homefront is doing for caregivers of our wounded warriors.
If you are traveling during the holidays and you see all those men and women in uniform, check into the many things the USO does for our service members and their families.
If you care about spouse employment, read about what the Military Officer’s Association of America has been doing. Check out In-Gear Career and the Military Spouse JD Network and the Military Spouse Business Association.
And before you give to any military nonprofit, definitely check out our guide about How to Avoid Military Charity Scammers. Some of the charities we have written about are not eligible to be rated because they bring in less than $1 million in revenues.
These are only a few of the many charities and nonprofits that look after military families that we have written about this year. Whether you give on #GivingTuesday or you give on another day of this 'festive season of the year,' do give. Because you make a difference.
Photo USAG Humphreys Public Affairs.
All opinions expressed in this article are the author's and do not necessarily reflect those of Military.com.