The holiday season is here, whether you’re ready for it or not. Black Friday sales ads are bombarding your email and mailbox, and countdown calendars are already ticking down.
But amid all that noise about the latest, greatest things to buy and own, there’s Giving Tuesday, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. Giving Tuesday reminds us to consider those in need during the winter holidays. While we can all agree that being charitable is a great idea year-round, this dedicated day of giving can often make or break a nonprofit’s finances for the coming financial year. Which means that in addition to those Black Friday ads, you can expect to see appeals coming from many important causes.
So how do you decide where to donate on Giving Tuesday? You need it to be a cause that speaks to your heart. One that will be a good steward of the monies and trust given to it. We’re passionate about military families. And these nine organizations are making a real difference in the military community.
Mission: Hiring Our Heroes Military Spouse Professional Network improves the quality of life, morale, and stability for military families by enabling military spouses to seek professional employment and maintain long-term career paths despite the transient nature and demands of the military lifestyle.
What They Do: Through local and online community-building efforts and advocacy programs, Hiring Our Heroes Military Spouse Professional Network helps military spouses quickly establish and leverage organic networks to secure meaningful employment. That means that when a military family has to PCS, there’s help for military spouses to secure employment wherever the future calls home.
Mission: The Code of Support Foundation provides essential and critical one-on-one assistance to struggling service members, veterans, and their families.
What They Do: The Code of Support Foundation offers personalized, comprehensive, long-term assistance to struggling military members transitioning from civilian life. Through PATRIOTlink, the organization connects service providers with resources to help the military-connected individuals it serves. Plus, the Code of Support Foundation educates and engages civilians to support the military community. Should you find yourself living off post, having a supportive civilian community can mean a world of difference as your family adjusts. And knowing there’s support through transition means there’s less to fear when an active-duty life becomes a transitioning-from-service life.
Mission: Military Spouse J.D. Network (MSJDN) was formed as a networking body for military spouse attorneys, fiercely advocating for the removal of licensing and employment barriers and creating a community for these professionals. Through the Foundation, MSJDN has expanded its mission to match members with the specific legal needs of the military community.
What They Do: MSJDN not only remains at the forefront of the fight against barriers to military spouse attorney employment, but also develops those attorneys to use their skills and expertise in service to the military community. In addition, MSJDN connects military families with legal needs to help from its network of military spouse attorneys and supporters in the legal profession. Support for military families by military spouse professionals living this life, too? It’s a win-win situation.
Mission: Warriors at Ease works to increase awareness of the power of yoga and meditation in the military community and to educate a network of professionals qualified to share evidence-based practices through programs that support the health and healing of service members, veterans, and their families.
What They Do: Warriors at Ease trains yoga and meditation instructors to bring trauma-sensitive yoga practices into military communities across the world. The organization also provides free yoga classes, retreats, and scholarships for training for military spouses (as well as veterans and service members) at popular duty stations across the U.S. Warriors at Ease knows what you sometimes forget amid the chaos that often accompanies life in the military—that wellness isn’t just about the scale or your diet; it’s also an “inside job.”
Mission: Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC) ensures inclusive, quality educational opportunities for all military- and veteran-connected children affected by mobility, transition, and family separation.
What They Do: Through webinars, online and in-person events, scholarships, and other resources, MCEC supports military kids through their education journeys. MCEC is a difference maker for children going through transitions, separations, and deployments. Like your kids.
Mission: Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street, and its mission is to help kids grow smarter, stronger, and kinder. This simple yet elegant mission statement is the backbone to the all the Sesame Street initiatives, including Sesame Street for Military Families.
What They Do: Sesame Street has been enchanting and educating children for decades, but it’s more than just a television show. Sesame Workshop’s programs and other media outlets deliver crucial lessons about health, emotional well-being, respect, and understanding to help kids grow up healthy, happy, and at home in their world. We love this organization specifically for the Talk, Listen, Connect initiative for military families and the Big Moving Adventure App geared directly toward kids facing a PCS. Big Bird and his friends aren’t just teaching the military kids you love to count; they’re also helping them navigate the unique circumstances of military life.
Mission: Milspo Project is a global network of American military spouses who believe entrepreneurship is a unique answer to the military spouse unemployment issue in the U.S. Through community, Milspo Project redefines what it means to be successful and to embrace the unpredictability of military life.
What They Do: Milspo Project connects military spouse thought leaders and business owners across the U.S. with virtual meetups, annual events, workshops, and resources. Whether military spouses are looking to start or grow their own businesses, Milspo Project provides them with the tools and community to help them take their careers into their own hands as entrepreneurs and effective leaders in their businesses and lives.
Mission: National Military Family Association (NMFA) is the voice for military families when administration officials, members of Congress, and key decision makers want to understand the issues facing military families.
What They Do: National Military Family Association’s impact can be felt across the military family experience. NMFA provides scholarships to military kids and spouses, runs Operation Purple Camps for military children, advocates for military families on the Hill, and provides robust resources on everything, including deployment, adoption, special needs, education, and more.
Mission: Blue Star Families is committed to strengthening military families by connecting them with their neighbors—individuals and organizations—to create vibrant communities of mutual support. Through research and program partnerships, Blue Star Families ensures that wherever American military families go, they can always feel connected, supported, and empowered to thrive—in every community, across the nation, and around the globe.
What They Do: Blue Star Families’ groundbreaking research is raising the nation's awareness of the unique challenges of military family life. With the help of neighbors across the country, Blue Star Families is overcoming the isolation and alienation of frequent moves, deployments, and reduced support from the government. The organization’s innovative programs are solving specific challenges for military families, including fighting economic insecurity with resources that foster spouse career development; creating family strength with rich family programming; and providing critical peer support for caregivers, whose numbers are only increasing.
No Matter Where Your Dollars Go…
Whether it’s military spouse employment, resources for military children, transition support, emergency assistance during times of struggle, or any of a host of other areas that impact military families, each of these nonprofits is committed to improving the quality of life for families like yours.
Wherever you choose to donate on Giving Tuesday, military-connected or otherwise, there’s no better way to start this holiday season than with an open and generous heart.