Thursday, June 5, 2008

Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?

Because I know that all my readers just have tons of money lying around that they really don't know what to do with... :)

Money's tight with me too, but if you've got some spare coin that you could afford to part with, let me make a couple of suggestions as to where you can direct it.

The first is a conglomerate of non profits called Soldiers' Angels. They have all sorts of services to assist soldiers, and the people who support the soldiers, with the hardships of military service. Pretty much anything you want to do, they can point you in the right direction.

Want to help soldiers wounded in the line of duty? The Eagle Cane Project sends hand carved canes to soldiers with leg injuries. First Response Backpacks provides a bag with everything an injured soldier needs in his initial days of treatment while still in country. Valor-IT gives a soldier with a hand injury a laptop computer designed to be operated with his injury.

Perhaps you want to help those left behind by deployed soldiers? Operation Outreach provides for the families left when soldiers deploy. Guardian Angels looks after the pets that soldiers have to leave behind.

For the more traditionally minded, Adopt a Soldier is always a classic. Angel Bakers is a tasty alternative. Operation Phone Home provides one thing that a lot of people don't think about as a real need, phone cards.

No matter which you choose, you can feel comfortable that your donations are going to a worthy cause. You can find all these programs, and many more, at the Soldiers' Angels homepage I linked to earlier.

The second group is the United Service Organization, or USO. While Soldiers' Angels allows you to specify what your funding goes to, the USO does it all. They give shelter from the mind numbing boredom of the airports we frequent during TDY flights. They bring out Actors, Athletes, and Musicians to keep morale high. They help soldiers put a roof over their head during overnight layovers. They offer emergency support, support groups, and even nursery care for military families. They have facilities in 21 states and 10 countries. The USO knows how to help the soldiers, better than any organization out there. They've been at it for 67 years now. Wherever the military is sent, the USO is there to support them. As the USO says, "Until Every One Comes Home."

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