9 Best Charities That Help With Veterans’ Bills (Complete 2024 List)

9 Best Charities That Help With Veterans’ Bills (Complete 2024 List)

By
Eli Boles

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In the US, around 1.5 million veterans live below the Federal Poverty Line, with around 1.3 million veterans utilizing the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to help pay for groceries. Poverty among veterans is strongly associated with food insecurity and is disproportionately linked to homelessness when compared to non-veterans. So we had to ask: What are the best charities that help with veterans’ bills?

The best charities that help with veterans’ bills are Semper Fi & America’s Fund, the Fisher House Foundation, and the Gary Sinise Foundation. Other charities like STEP and Operation First Response help build financial self-sufficiency and offer financial assistance to veterans and military families.

Whether you want to support military families with emergency financial assistance or charities that provide affordable, adaptive housing for injured veterans, there is a charity for you. Keep reading to learn more about what the best charities that help with veterans’ bills are all about, how they work, and what your best way would be to make a contribution.

Here’s What All the Best Charities That Help With Veterans’ Bills Have in Common

The charities on this list were chosen based on their mission, quantifiable impact, and high transparency ratings.

They operate all over the United States, and some help soldiers stationed overseas as well.

Yet, as the cost of living continues to increase for all Americans, these charities have also adapted to be able to best serve the nation’s veterans and their families.

These Are the 9 Best Charities That Help With Veterans’ Bills in 2024

Below are our favorite charities that help with veterans’ bills:

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

1

Semper Fi & America’s Fund: Today. Tomorrow. Together.

Logo for Semper Fi & America’s Fund
SF&AF Through the Years

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Their transparency & ratings:

Semper Fi & America’s Fund holds a 4-star Rating from Charity Navigator, an A+ rating from Charity Watch, and a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

“We work to ensure that no one is left behind.”

Semper Fi & America’s Fund

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What they do:

Semper Fi & America’s Fund operates programs that offer direct financial assistance to injured veterans and their families, physical and mental therapy, education support, and career assistance to prepare them for their post-military lives. The Service Member and Family Support program offers tailored financial assistance including bedside support, help with transportation and housing, and adaptive equipment. Their education aid includes help paying for books and school fees. They also help veterans following natural disasters by offsetting the costs of home repairs and providing financial assistance for food, rent, insurance bills, and more. 

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their inception, Semper Fi & America’s Fund has provided over $300 million in assistance to over 30,000 service members. Their impact has also continued to grow year over year. For example, in 2022, they increased the number of service members assisted by 20% compared to 2021, and 1,825 service members were first-time grant recipients.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to Semper Fi & America’s Fund via their website. You can also help host an event, or volunteer your time and become part of their Community Athlete Team!

2

Fisher House Foundation: Housing During Hospitalization

Logo for Fisher House Foundation
PSA: Fisher House Serves Special Operator and His Family

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Their transparency & ratings:

The Fisher House Foundation holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator with a 94% Transparency Rating. They also hold a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar, their highest ranking. 

“Fisher House Foundation builds comfort homes where military & veteran families can stay free of charge, while a loved one is in the hospital.”

Fisher House Foundation

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What they do:

The Fisher House Foundation builds community homes with access to nearby military medical centers to allow the families of hospitalized soldiers to stay for free in order to heal together in a safe, inviting space. The houses include private suites, common areas, gourmet kitchens, and most importantly quick access to nearby hospitals. They have also expanded their programs to include scholarships for children of veterans, and Hero Miles that assist in travel expenses.

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What they’ve achieved:

Since 1990, the Fisher House Foundation has housed over 455,000 military members and their families, saving them over $575 million. Their efforts have continued to increase in recent years. For example, in 2022 more than 25,000 families stayed in Fisher Houses, and they awarded scholarships to over 12,000 children of veterans. Also, their Hotels for Heroes and Hero Miles programs have saved military families nearly $121 million in hotel and flight costs since its inception.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to the Fisher House Foundation via their website. You can also donate air miles and hotel points via their website to be used by families.

3

The Gary Sinise Foundation: We Can Always Do a Little More

Logo for The Gary Sinise Foundation
Gary Sinise Foundation Official Promo 2022

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Their transparency & ratings:

The Gary Sinise Foundation holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator with a 93% Transparency Rating. Charity Watch reports that 87% of their expenses are spent on programs, earning them an A rating.

“We serve our nation by honoring our defenders, veterans, first responders, their families, & those in need.”

Gary Sinise Foundation 

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What they do:

The Gary Sinise Foundation operates programs that give injured soldiers specially adapted homes and vehicles, and helps to support the families of fallen soldiers by paying for bills and basic necessities. For example, the R.I.S.E. program builds specially adapted smart homes that allow severely injured veterans to live more independently at no cost to them, while the H.O.P.E. initiative supports injured veterans and their families with assistance with bills, groceries, and other small financial hurdles. They also host an array of music and social events to honor the sacrifices of service members, while also giving them an opportunity to connect with their communities. 

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their inception, the Gary Sinise Foundation has built 84 specially adapted smart homes, modified 99 existing homes, and provided 63 adapted vehicles to injured veterans. For example, in 2021, they spent over $11 million through their Relief and Resiliency programs for financial assistance. They have also hosted 297 concerts and have totaled over 82,000 attendees at their Invincible Spirit Festivals.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to the Gary Sinise Foundation via their website. You can also help host a fundraiser in your community to spread their message.

4

Support The Enlisted Project (STEP): Building Financial Self-Sufficiency

Logo for Support the Enlisted Project (STEP)
Support The Enlisted Project - STEP

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Their transparency & ratings:

Support the Enlisted Project (STEP) holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator with a 94% Transparency Rating. They also hold a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

“STEP builds financial self-sufficiency among junior active duty enlisted members, recently discharged enlisted Veterans and their families facing financial crisis.”

Support the Enlisted Project

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What they do:

Support the Enlisted Project (STEP) helps veterans and active duty personnel by hosting monthly distribution events for basic necessities, offering emergency financial assistance, and hosting financial workshops to teach service members how to achieve their financial goals. For example, the Warehouse on Wheels program regularly distributes food, clothing, diapers, and other home goods to military families in southern California. Other programs such as the Emergency Financial Assistance program issue grants to help with emergency expenses and then match the family with a financial counselor to teach them how to avoid future financial hardship. Their Financial Freedom Workshops also seek to teach military families how to manage their finances for future success. 

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their inception, Support the Enlisted Project (STEP) has issued over $2.4 million in financial assistance and has served over 6,300 military families through their Emergency Financial Assistance (EFA) program. Through this intervention, they have prevented 555 in-process evictions and made payments to stop 473 car repossessions. Crucially, of families that received help through STEP, 94% do not return for additional assistance. 

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to Support the Enlisted Project via their website. You can also volunteer via their website in a variety of different ways.

5

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

Logo for Operation First Response
Make a difference in their tomorrow

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Their transparency & ratings:

Operation First Response holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. They also hold a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

“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, active duty personnel, and their families. Through their Family Assistance Program, they provide assistance that starts from the time of injury and continues 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. 

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their inception, Operation First Response has raised over $14 million and helped 28,599 wounded heroes including disabled veterans. Their impact has also continued to increase year by year. For example, in 2022, they provided 3,021 wounded heroes and their families with financial assistance. In total, they have also sent 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

6

Homes for Our Troops: Rebuilding Lives Through Regained Independence

Logo for Homes for Our Troops
Homes For Our Troops - 2022 60 Second PSA Video

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Their transparency & ratings:

Homes for Our Troops holds a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar, and a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. Charity Watch also gives them an A Grade and reports an 84% program expense rate.

“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

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What they do:

Homes for Our Troops builds custom homes for severely injured post-9/11 soldiers with accessibility upgrades such as wide doorways, pull-down cabinets, roll-in showers, and any other unique modifications the soldier and their families require at no cost to them. Veterans never pay any money for their homes, and the nonprofit also provides financial planners and homeownership education to ensure they can afford and maintain their new homes.

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Since their inception, Homes for Our Troops has built over 350 specially adapted homes nationwide. Of the soldiers and families who have received new homes, over 90% say that they have regained some/much of their freedom, and 95% have seen a reduction in household stress. Households who received a home through them also saw an increase in family income of 60% and a decrease in household debt of 66%

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to Homes for Our Troops via their website. You can also attend a build event to help welcome injured soldiers and their families to their new homes!

7

Folds of Honor: Meeting Sacrifice With Hope

Logo for Folds of Honor
America's Common Ground | Folds of Honor

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Their transparency & ratings:

Folds of Honor holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator with a 98% Transparency Rating. They also hold a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

“It’s our honor to empower people from every walk of life through education and the opportunities it creates.”

Folds of Honor

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What they do:

Folds of Honor gives educational scholarships of up to $5,000 to the spouses and families of fallen or disabled veterans and first responders. These scholarships can be used for K-12th grade as well as higher education. Folds of Honor’s other main program involves hosting and sponsoring golf events to raise awareness and funds to continue issuing scholarships. 

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their inception, Folds of Honor has issued more than 44,000 education scholarships totaling over $200 million. Furthermore, 41% of scholarship recipients were from a minority background. They have also expanded greatly, as there are now more than 30 Folds of Honor chapters nationwide.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to Folds of Honor via their website. You can also donate a vehicle or participate in a sponsored golf game

8

Operation Second Chance: Helping Heroes Move On

Logo for Operation Second Chance
OSC Helping Heroes Move On PSA

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Their transparency & ratings:

Operation Second Chance is well recognized for their transparency holding both a 4-Star rating from Charity Navigator with a 99% Transparency Rating, and a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

“Seek, create awareness, and assist our nation’s heroes indefinitely so not one combat wounded injured, and ill Veteran in need of assistance and healing is left behind”

Operation Second Chance

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What they do:

Operation Second Chance operates programs to help with veterans’ rent or mortgage payments, utility bills, childcare, and temporary lodging or flight expenses. By working with each applicant on a case-by-case basis, they are able to help with a variety of specific financial needs. They also provide need-based educational scholarships for the dependents of injured or deceased veterans. 

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Operation Second Chance has expanded their capabilities from simple acts such as hospital visits and grocery shopping to life-changing work such as paying for veterans’ expensive medical equipment or helping with mortgage payments. For example, in 2022, they provided $1.6 million in assistance to 750 military members and their families. They also provided specific assistance by covering car payments for 30 military families and paying utility bills for a further 40 families

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to Operation Second Chance via their website. You can also volunteer to get involved in a number of different ways depending on your background!

9

Wounded Warrior Project: To Honor and Empower Wounded Warriors

Logo for Wounded Warrior Project
Twenty Years of Possible | Wounded Warrior Project's 20th Anniversary

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Their transparency & ratings:

The Wounded Warrior Project’s reputation was tarnished by a financial misappropriation scandal in 2016, leading to the ousting of the CEO and COO who had replaced the founder, John Melia. Since this tumultuous period, their new leadership has made significant, verifiable improvements to their transparency and programs, which have been recognized by charity watchdog groups. 

They currently hold a 3-star Rating from Charity Navigator and a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

“To foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded service members in our nation’s history.”

Wounded Warrior Project

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What they do:

The Wounded Warrior Project’s programs include support direct financial assistance, mental health services, career counseling, help with receiving VA benefits, and providing caregivers to severely wounded veterans. These programs are focused on improving the quality of life for soldiers returning home, and aiding in their recovery from the visible and invisible wounds of war. For example, the Financial Education group of programs includes direct emergency financial assistance and education on how to budget and achieve future financial goals. They also operate the Warriors to Work career transition program that gives returning soldiers assistance via career counseling, resume writing, and networking to help them gain financial independence.

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What they’ve achieved:

The Wounded Warrior Project has continued to increase the reach of their programs year after year. For example, in 2022, they invested nearly $247 million in programs for veterans, secured $146.6 million in VA benefits for wounded military and their families, and provided over 54,000 hours of treatment for PTSD, traumatic brain injuries, substance use disorders, and military sexual trauma. 

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to the Wounded Warrior Project via their website. You can also participate in a variety of fundraising activity events hosted throughout the year.

How Can You Select the Best Charities to Support?

The charities on the list are, we deem, the best charities that help with veterans’ bills. 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.
  • 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 helping with veterans’ bills – based on the causes that matter most to you.

Stay impactful,

Illustration of a signature for Eli

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:

The way we think about charity is dead wrong | Dan Pallotta

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