Winter holidays are marked by the unmistakable ringing bell of the Salvation Army; one of hundreds of thousands of organizations that offer programs and services supporting the military community. A dollar here, five bucks there; how much is enough to make a difference and to whom?

It pays to do some homework so you know where your good intentions are going. Charity Navigator ( is a good place to start, with the largest database of non-profit organizations and respective ratings based on their evaluation of an organization’s effectiveness. A four-star rating is the highest.

If you’re looking to adopt a new military charity, here’s a short list of three top-rated non-profit organizations supporting active duty military, military families, and veterans:

Navy Seal Foundation

This 501(c)3 organization offers a comprehensive menu of programs and services to support the Naval Special Warfare Community. Navy SEALs spend up to 270 days a year away from home in service to America, sacrificing time with family, and even their lives to protect our freedom, executing dangerous missions in unforgiving environments. Learn more or donate at

The Fisher House

The Fisher House Foundation provides military families with travel assistance and housing closed to their loved ones during hospitalization for an illness, disease or injury. Additional programs include scholarships for military children, spouses, and survivors of fallen service members. Donate or learn more at

Paralyzed Veterans of America

Paralyzed Veterans of America has served as an advocate for severely wounded veterans for 70 years. Founded by World War II vets that returned from combat with spinal cord injuries, PVA continues its work to help paralyzed veterans and their families to live full, productive lives. This includes helping paralyzed veterans navigate their benefits and access needed resources. Donate at


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