During my 20+ years with the U. S. Marines, I had the opportunity to see the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society in action on numerous occasions. I was always impressed with the variety of valuable services that they provided to the younger Marines and sailors. These services included loans, grants, education programs, financial counseling, layettes, food lockers and visiting nurse programs. Thus I was not surprised when this organization received an A+ rating from the American Institute of Philanthropy (AIP), a leading charity watchdog group. Contact Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society at 875 North Randolph Street, Suite 225, Arlington VA 22203, Phone 703-696-4904.
Other military-oriented charitable organizations that received A or A+ ratings from AIP include:
National Military Family Association. The goals of this organization are to “To educate military families concerning their rights, benefits and services available to them, to inform them regarding the issues that affect their lives and to promote and protect the interests of military families by influencing the development of legislation and policies affecting them.” Contact them at National Military Family Association, Inc., 2500 North Van Dorn St., Suite 102, Alexandria, VA 22302, phone 1.800.260.0218.
Air Force Aid Society. This organization is “the official charity of the U.S. Air Force. It promotes the Air Force mission by helping to relieve distress of Air Force members and their families and assisting them to finance their education. It is rooted in the original Army Air Corps and the World War II Army Air Forces, whose members wanted to take care of their own. Through the years, AFAS has become increasingly effective in helping individuals with personal emergencies–as well as extremely useful when used by commanders to help solve personnel problems in their units.” Contact them at Air Force Aid Society, Inc., National Headquarters, 241 18th Street, Suite 202, Arlington, VA 22202, phone: 1.800.769.8951.
Army Emergency Relief. AER was “established in 1942 by the Secretary of War, Army Emergency Relief is proud to have helped more than 3 million soldiers and their families overcome financial emergencies during these last 67 years. Since its founding, AER has always been where soldiers are stationed when they needed help. Though many things have changed over the years, one thing remains constant: our commitment to our long standing principle of caring for your financial emergency with integrity and professionalism.” Contact AER at Army Emergency Relief, 200 Stovall Street, Alexandria, VA 22332, Phone: 1.866.878.6378.
Homes for Our Troops. This worthwhile organization assists “severely injured Servicemen and Women and their immediate families by raising donations of money, building materials and professional labor and then coordinating the process of building a new home or adapting an existing home for handicapped accessibility. The finished home is then given to the veteran.” Contact them at Homes for Our Troops, Inc., 37 Main Street, Taunton, MA 02780, Phone 1.866.7.TROOPS.
Fisher House Foundation. Fisher House Foundation “donates comfort homes, built on the grounds of major military and VA medical centers. These homes enable family members to be close to a loved one at the most stressful times – during the hospitalization for an unexpected illness, disease, or injury.” Contact them at Fisher House Foundation, Inc., 111 Rockville Pike, Suite 420, Rockville, MD 20850, Phone 1.888.294.8560.
Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. The Fund was “begun in 2000 under the auspices of the Intrepid Museum Foundation, and established as an independent not-for-profit organization in 2003. The Fund has provided more than $65 million in support for the families of military personnel lost in service to our nation, and for severely wounded military personnel and veterans.” Contact them at Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, One Intrepid Square, West 46th Street and 12th Avenue, New York, NY 10036, Phone 1-800-340-HERO.
Note: Mission statements for these charities come from their web sites.