9 Best Charities That Support Disabled Veterans (Complete 2022 List)

9 Best Charities That Support Disabled Veterans (Complete 2022 List)

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Dennis Kamprad

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One out of ten veterans alive today were wounded while serving and countless others are disabled after leaving the military. Many veterans also suffer from invisible disabilities such as PTSD or traumatic brain injury (TBI). For these disabled veterans, returning to normal life can be challenging. Fortunately, many charities are dedicated to supporting disabled veterans and helping them to integrate back into society. So we had to ask: What are the best charities that support disabled veterans? 

The best charities that support disabled veterans are Disabled American Veterans and Paralyzed Veterans of America. Other charities such as Homes For Our Troops and the Gary Sinise Foundation provide mortgage-free accessible housing for disabled veterans. 

Whether you want to support better legislation to protect disabled veterans, help alleviate financial burdens, or provide service dogs to help disabled ex-military men and women cope with everyday life, there is a charity for you. Keep reading to learn more about what the best charities that support disabled veterans are all about, how they work, and what your best way would be to make a contribution.

Related: Did you know that you can make Amazon donate 0.5% of your purchases to a charitable organization of your choice. Sign up at smile.amazon.com, select the charity you want your donations to go to, and make Amazon donate a part of your purchases to your chosen charity at no extra cost to you.

Here’s What All the Best Charities That Support Disabled Veterans Have in Common

The charities on this list were chosen based on their mission, impact and transparency ratings, and achievements. They operate across the US, and they all share the same goal of assisting disabled veterans. 

Some of these charities support disabled veterans by providing them with personalized accessible housing. Others assist by helping veterans to navigate the benefits process to achieve better financial support. However, they all have the same goal of improving the lives of disabled veterans. 

These Are the 9 Best Charities That Support Disabled Veterans

Below are our favorite charities that support disabled veterans:

  • Disabled American Veterans
  • Paralyzed Veterans of America
  • Homes For Our Troops
  • Operation First Response
  • Disabled Veterans National Foundation
  • Soldiers’ Angels
  • Military Warriors Support Foundation
  • Gary Sinise Foundation
  • Puppies Behind Bars

(At the end of this article we’ll also share our six-step approach on how you can select the best charity to support.)

Disabled American Veterans: Claims and Employment Assistance

Disabled American Veterans was founded in 1920 by a group of veterans, including Robert S. Marx, to ensure that all disabled veterans returning from war had access to services and that their best interests were supported in the legislature. Today, they help disabled veterans across the country get access to benefits, find jobs, and find support. 

Their impact and transparency ratings: Charity Navigator gives Disabled American Veterans a 4-star rating.

We are dedicated to a single purpose: empowering veterans to lead high-quality lives with respect and dignity.

Disabled American Veterans

What they do: Disabled Veterans of America provides employment assistance to disabled veterans, including job fairs and employment resources. For example, Patriot Bootcamp offers education and entrepreneurial mentorship to disabled veterans who want to open their own businesses. They also offer free rides to medical appointments for injured or ill-disabled veterans. Furthermore, for veterans transitioning to civilian life, they offer the assistance of a transition service officer who provides counseling and assistance for filing claims for VA benefits. In addition, the charity advocates for legislation at the federal level that improves the lives of disabled veterans. 

What they’ve achieved: Disabled American Veterans help over 1 million veterans each year. For example, in 2021 they helped veterans claim $25 billion in benefits. In the same year, they hosted 82 job fairs that resulted in 6,500 job offers for veterans and their family members. They also successfully advocated for the passing of 10 key resolutions backed by Disabled American Veterans, including legislation to improve disability compensation and mental health support. 

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to Disabled American Veterans on their website. You can also volunteer your time or advocate for their backed legislation by contacting your congressional representatives. 

Paralyzed Veterans of America: Improving Accessibility and National Legislation for Disabled Veterans

Paralyzed Veterans of America was founded in 1946 by a group of veterans to help those seriously injured in combat, after they all returned home from World War II with spinal cord injuries. Today, they advocate for better health care, research and education, benefits, and civil rights for seriously injured and disabled veterans. 

Their impact and transparency ratings: GuideStar gives Paralyzed Veterans of America the platinum seal of transparency. 

Since 1946, Paralyzed Veterans of America has been on a mission to change lives and build brighter futures for our seriously injured heroes. We’ve had a single-minded mission—to empower our brave men and women to regain what they fought for: their freedom and independence.

Paralyzed Veterans of America

What they do: Paralyzed Veterans of America advocates for the rights and needs of veterans with disabilities by lobbying for legislation to improve services and increase benefits at the national level. For veterans with conditions such as spinal cord injuries, ALS, or MS, they offer assistance with navigating the VA to obtain benefits. They also utilize on-staff architects who have specialized training in accessibility design for residential and community structures to develop standards and codes across the nation. Furthermore, their Veterans Career Program offers veterans job training, resume and interview prep, and insights into inclusion and accessibility for disabled veterans. In addition, they host a series of adaptive sports for disabled veterans, including fishing, rugby, and handcycling. 

What they’ve achieved: To date, Paralyzed Veterans of America has helped disabled veterans and their families get over $1 billion in benefits. For example, in 2021, they offered 21 different adaptive sports and recreation activities. In the same year, their architects helped over 50 individuals improve building accessibility in residential and community structures. They also successfully lobbied for legislation that ensured veterans with spinal cord injuries had access to COVID-19 vaccines, regardless of age. 

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to the Paralyzed Veterans of America on their website. You can also donate clothing and small appliances as well as buy gear from their online store

Homes For Our Troops: Building Accessible Homes For Disabled Veterans

Homes For Our Troops was founded in 2004 by John Gonsalves to build accessible homes for disabled veterans, after he saw a news special on a post-9/11 veteran with traumatic amputations and found out that there was no existing charity to support him. Today, they build accessible homes for disabled post-9/11 veterans across the US. 

Their impact and transparency ratings: Charity Navigator gives Homes For Our Troops a 4-star rating, and GuideStar gives them the Platinum Seal of Transparency. 

“To build and donate specially adapted custom homes nationwide for severely injured post-9/11 veterans, to enable them to rebuild their lives.”

Homes For Our Troops

What they do: Homes For Our Troops builds accessible homes for post-9/11 disabled veterans for free. Their homes are specially adapted, exceeding ADA compliance. Each home has four bedrooms and is over 2,800 square feet. They also provide a financial planning program at no cost in order to prepare veterans and their families for home ownership. 

What they’ve achieved: Since their inception, Homes For Our Troops has built over 300 homes for disabled veterans. For example, in 2021, 26 homes were under construction by the charity. After moving into their accessible homes, 95% of veterans involved in the program reported a decrease in household stress and 92% reported an increase in financial savings. 

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to Homes For Our Troops via their website. You can also participate in a build near you or donate your vehicle.

Operation First Response: Financial Assistance For Disabled Veterans Wounded in Service

Operation First Response was founded in 2004 by Peggy Baker to help alleviate expenses for injured and disabled veterans and their families. Today, they help with financial expenses for disabled veterans as well as providing personal items for those recovering after a service-related injury. 

Their impact and transparency ratings: Charity Navigator gives Operation First Response a 4-star rating, and GuideStar gives them the Platinum Seal of Transparency. 

The mission of Operation First Response, Inc (OFR) is to serve all branches of our nation’s Wounded Heroes/Disabled Veterans, Gold Star Families and First Responders with personal and financial needs.

Operation First Response

What they do: Operation First Response offers financial assistance for disabled veterans who were wounded in service through their Family Assistance Program. They provide assistance that starts from the time of injury, while navigating the VA claims process, and through their reintegration into civilian life. For those suffering from invisible disabilities such as PTSD, they also offer The Last Mission Project to provide these disabled veterans with financial assistance. Furthermore, Operation First Response Backpacks have personal items and comfort items that are given to wounded service men and women while hospitalized abroad until they can return home. 

What they’ve achieved: Since their inception, Operation First Response has raised over $13.5 million and helped 25,419 wounded heroes including disabled veterans. For example, in 2021, they provided 1,730 wounded heroes including disabled veterans, with financial assistance. In total, they also sent out over 11,000 Operation First Response Backpacks to disabled service men and women in hospitals abroad. 

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to Operation First Response on their website. You can also stay up to date on their latest updates by following them on Twitter

Disabled Veterans National Foundation: Assistance for Physical and Psychological Disabilities 

The Disabled Veterans National Foundation was founded in 2007 by a group of six female veterans to address the gaps in care for disabled veterans. Today, the charity provides critical support and services to disabled and at-risk veterans, including those with psychological disabilities. 

Their impact and transparency ratings: GuideStar gives the Disabled Veterans National Foundation the Gold Seal of Transparency. 

The Disabled Veterans National Foundation (DVNF) provides critically needed support to disabled and at-risk veterans who leave the military wounded—physically or psychologically—after defending our safety and our freedom.

Disabled Veterans National Foundation

What they do: The Disabled Veterans National Foundation provides basic needs for disabled veterans through their Health and Comfort Program. They distribute kits with items such as toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, and conditioner to veterans in need, to better reach veterans in the community. For veterans with PTSD, they provide resources for education and treatment, as well as online videos of support and encouragement. The charity also provides grants to nonprofits and charities that focus on the physical and mental recovery of disabled veterans. 

What they’ve achieved: The Disabled Veterans National Foundation helps tens of thousands of disabled veterans annually. For example, in 2022, they approved $497,000 in grants for 26 organizations across the US. Furthermore, in 2021, they sent out over 3,000 health and comfort kits across the country. 

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to the Disabled Veterans National Foundation via their website. You can also volunteer your time or send your thanks directly to a disabled veteran. 

Soldiers’ Angels: Adapted Technology for Disabled Veterans

Soldiers’ Angels was founded in 2003 by Patti Patton-Bader to send care packages to deployed service men and women. Today, Soldiers’ Angels provides assistance, resources, and comfort to disabled veterans and wounded service men and women.

Their impact and transparency ratings: Charity Navigator gives Soldiers’ Angels a 4-star rating and GuideStar gives them the Platinum Seal of Transparency. 

The mission of Soldiers’ Angels is to provide aid, comfort, and resources to the military, veterans, and their families.

Soldiers’ Angels

What they do: Soldiers’ Angels provides adapted laptops and tablets for disabled veterans who would otherwise be unable to use technology, through their Valor IT program. They also provide care packages with items such as pillowcases, blankets, and personal care items to active service members who require medevac transport to Germany-based combat support hospitals for high levels of care. For female caregivers of chronically ill or disabled veterans, they created the Women of Valor Team which provides encouragement and support through cards and care packages from other women. 

What they’ve achieved: Since their inception, Soldiers’ Angels have provided over $235 million in support for active service members and veterans. For example, in 2021 they provided care and support for 982,141 service members, veterans, and wounded heroes including disabled veterans. Additionally in 2022, they supported 225 female military caregivers of disabled veterans and service members.

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to Soldiers’ Angels via their website. You can also volunteer your time or donate non-monetary items

Military Warriors Support Foundation: Housing, Transportation, and Recreation For Disabled Veterans

The Military Warriors Support Foundation was founded in 2007 by Lt. General Leroy Sisco to provide support for combat-wounded veterans. Today, they provide various vital services for disabled veterans and their families. 

Their impact and transparency ratings: Charity Navigator gives the Military Warriors Support Foundation a score of 100 out of 100 for finance and accountability. GuideStar gives them the Platinum Seal of Transparency. 

Our mission is to provide programs that facilitate a smooth and successful transition for our nation’s Combat-Wounded Heroes and Gold Star families. Our programs focus on housing, transportation, outdoor recreation, and leadership development.

Military Warriors Support Foundation

What they do: The Military Warriors Support Foundation assists disabled veterans by giving them mortgage-free homes and payment-free vehicles, as well as financial planning education. They also host outdoor recreation events including hunting, fishing, and golfing as well as peer-to-peer mentoring for disabled, combat-wounded veterans. 

What they’ve achieved: Since their inception, the Military Warriors Support Foundation has provided over 900 mortgage-free homes and over 130 vehicles to disabled veterans and Gold Star families whose loved-ones were killed in action. They now provide services across all 50 states. The charity also hosts 300 disabled veterans at their outdoor events every year. 

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to the Military Warriors Support Foundation on their website. You can also purchase merchandise through their online store

Gary Sinise Foundation: Celebrating and Supporting Disabled Veterans

The Gary Sinise Foundation was founded in 2011 by Gary Sinise to support injured and disabled veterans and first responders. Today, they offer numerous programs to assist disabled veterans as they transition to civilian life. 

Their impact and transparency ratings: Charity Navigator gives the Gary Sinise Foundation a 4-star rating, and GuideStar gives them the Platinum Seal of Transparency. 

At the Gary Sinise Foundation, we serve our nation by honoring our defenders, veterans, first responders, their families, and those in need.

Gary Sinise Foundation

What they do: The Gary Sinise Foundation gives combat-injured veterans mortgage-free smart homes that are specially adapted for each person’s disability. They also retrofit and modify homes, provide modified vehicles, and give mobility equipment to support the independence of disabled veterans. To celebrate the determination and courage that disabled veterans and their caregivers display during rehabilitation, the charity also holds the Invincible Spirit Festival: a fair-like celebration held at medical and rehabilitation centers across the US. 

What they’ve achieved: Since their inception, the Gary Sinise Foundation has built 79 adapted homes across the US for disabled veterans. They have also retrofitted 80 homes and provided 48 adapted vehicles and 62 mobility devices. Moreover, since 2012, the charity has celebrated with over 81,000 attendees at the Invincible Spirit Festival. 

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to the Gary Sinise Foundation on their website. You can also purchase merchandise through their online store to further support their cause. 

Puppies Behind Bars: Service Dogs For Disabled Veterans

Puppies Behind Bars was founded in 1997 by Gloria Gilbert Stoga to provide prison inmates with the opportunity to raise puppies as guide dogs. Today, the charity raises puppies as service dogs for disabled veterans, first responders, and police officers. 

Their impact and transparency ratings: Charity Navigator gives Puppies Behind Bars a 4-star rating, and GuideStar gives them the Silver Seal of Transparency. 

We produce well-loved and well-behaved dogs, and we make sure we make the best dog/veteran matches possible.

Puppies Behind Bars

What they do: Puppies Behind Bars gives prison inmates the opportunity to raise and train puppies to become service dogs for physically disabled veterans, as well as those diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury or PTSD. The prison inmates train the puppies from age eight weeks to about 20 to 24 months. The veteran is then matched with the service dog and undergoes additional training with the inmate instructing the veterans. 

What they’ve achieved: Since their founding, Puppies Behind Bars has trained puppies at six mens and womens correctional facilities in New York and New Jersey. To date, they have raised over 2,000 puppies with 154 dogs being placed with first responders, police officers, and disabled veterans. Approximately 125 inmates raise 75 puppies every year. 

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to Puppies Behind Bars on their website. For those who live in New York and New Jersey, you can also volunteer your time.

How Can You Select the Best Charities to Support?

The charities on the list are, we deem, the best charities that support disabled veterans. However, you may have a particular charity you want to support. Let’s look at what you can do to ensure your contribution has the most significant impact.

  • Check out the charity website. Charities that are worthy of your donations are transparent in their mission and their figures. Familiarise yourself with their history, mission, and values. Their website usually is the best place to start.
  • Identify the charity’s mission. Without a goal, the charity is likely to fail. If the charity’s mission isn’t clear, it’s probably worth looking for a charity that does have a clear mission. 
  • Check if the charity has measurable goals. An effective charity has clear goals. You want to know your donation will help the charity reach its goals. But if it doesn’t have targets, it’s likely to fail or squander your gift. The charity should be able to account for its spending and supply evidence of the work they do.
  • Assess the successes or goals the charity has achieved. You wouldn’t invest in a business if it kept missing its targets. In the same way, charities are like this too. If no one is assessing a charity’s progress in reaching its targets, the chances are they’re not making a substantial positive change.
  • Check the charity’s financials and stats. Trustworthy organizations will publish financial statements and reports each year. Some might be exempt from having to do so, but they should be able to provide them to public members who are interested in donating.
  • Locate sources who work with or benefit from the charity. Word of mouth and first-hand experience of a charity’s work lets you know the charity’s quality. If you’re able to do so, check out the charity for yourself or speak to someone familiar with it. This way, your donation will go to the right place. 

How Can You Best Support These Charities?

After you’ve made your decision, it’s time for you to decide on how you’d like to help the charities you’ve chosen. Check how you can help – each charity runs specific programs that have unique aims. Find out what the aim of such programs is and whether they are right for you. 

Here are a few ways you can help your chosen charity:

  • Donate money. You can find donation pages on the website of most charities. Your donation can be a one-time payment, or you can set it to be deducted regularly at different intervals. You can mostly pay via credit card, but some charities also take PayPal or Bitcoin payments.
  • Buy their official merchandise. The charities can also raise money by selling merchandise. So, you can support them by buying the mugs, shirts, caps, pens, pencils, and any other such items they may be selling. Ideally, you should buy as much as you can to share and spread the word about the charity’s activities.
  • Donate a percentage of your online purchases. If you bought anything on sites like Amazon lately, you’d find a prompt asking you to donate to your favorite charities through their Amazon Smile program. You can set this up so that your chosen charities will get a fraction of your online purchases.
  • Engage in volunteer work. As you’ve seen from our descriptions above, some charities engage in a lot of local and grassroots programs. You can help by taking on and organizing the program in your local area.
  • Help their fundraising efforts. You can spread the word about the charity in your workplace, school, church, etc., and hold creative fundraising drives on social media or offline within your small circles.
  • Share their stories. Most charities have compelling stories that you can share with your audience to attract more people to the cause.

Final Thoughts

Now it is up to you to select the charity that resonates most with you. And whichever charity you end up choosing and contributing to, we are sure that they will immensely appreciate your support. Hopefully, the information within this article has made this selection process a bit easier for you to support charities dedicated to supporting disabled veterans – based on the causes that matter most to you.

Stay impactful,



PS: Finally, I want to leave you with a thought-provoking TED talk from Dan Pallotta, a leading philanthropic activist and fundraiser, about what is wrong with the way we think about charities – and what we can do about it:

Sources

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Dennis Kamprad

Dennis is the founder of Impactful Ninja and passionate about enabling you to make a positive impact on the world & society. He started his professional career as a Sustainability Consultant and has worked on several social projects around the world. Outside of work, he is a passionate salsa dancer, fast runner, and multiple Ironman finisher.

Did you know that the internet is a huge polluter of the environment? But fortunately not this site. This site is powered by renewable energy and all hosting-related CO2 emissions are offset by three times as many renewable energy certificates. Find out all about it here.

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