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It can be difficult to choose a charity when you’re searching for organizations to donate time or money to. There seems to be a never-ending list of charities, for almost anything you can imagine. If you’ve decided that you’d like to make a difference in a veteran or servicemember’s life than the next step is to select which charity to help. 

The best charities are those that focus on serving those in need. There should be transparency about their practices and it should be clear that the organization is financially responsible. There are a plethora of trustworthy organizations that provide a broad range of services.  There are groups that focus on boosting troops’ morale and others that provide assistance with rent, utilities, or medical expenses.

Here is a list of a few highly-rated American charities to consider donating to.

The Gary Sinise Foundation
Actor Gary Sinise has been an advocate of American servicemembers for decades. His foundation offers support to veterans, first responders, and those on active duty. The mission of the Foundation is to show gratitude to American heroes through all types of programs. The Foundation provides meals to families, hosts morale-boosting celebrations, and has built homes for severely wounded veterans.

Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation
Founded in 1962 the Foundation provides scholarships for children of Marines and Navy Corpsmen so that they can further their education after high school. To date the charity has helped provide over 40,000 scholarships, valuing over $125 million. The Scholarship Foundation awards children based on need. The rising cost of education calls for increased support for charities like this one.

Freedom Service Dogs of America
This charity is fairly unique. The organization takes shelter dogs and trains them to become service dogs. Many of the people the dogs are rehomed to are injured military veterans and personnel. The FSD is completely donor-funded and they provide lifetime support to all owners and their dogs. No client is charged for any of the services FSD offers.

Operation Second Chance
At Operation Second Chance wounded servicemen and women are assisted in transitioning either back to duty or into civilian life.  The organization also helps to accommodate disabled veterans by modifying housing and assisting family members. Overall, the charity supports soldiers in their recovery and rehabilitation.

If a monetary donation is not something that you’re comfortable doing there are many other great ways to offer support and help our military. Things such as volunteering at a veteran’s hospital, writing letters, providing calling cards, or baking homemade treats are all things that can show our troops that they are appreciated. As the holidays approach, consider taking some time to help those that serve their country.