(121) Give the Dog a Bone: Treating Veterans with Donations

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Golly, Miss Molly

A Blog about a Service Dog and her Veteran with PTSD

(Supporting the Veteran and the Family Caregiver)

Veterans and Military Service Organizations 

After reading Blog 119, “Loving our Veterans,” one of Molly’s most loyal readers asked about places to donate funds to help Veterans. Since Molly loves it when we give her a bone, I figured our readers might love to find ways to give our Veterans a special gift.

I began writing this blog by listing the organizations my husband and I support. The more I looked for organizations that support Veterans, the more I felt like a bone that got buried. Overwhelmed with the task, the VA came to the rescue with a 128-page PDF document that lists Veteran service organizations. Titled, “Veterans and Military Service Organizations,” it lists six-pages of organizations, ranging from the African American Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Association to the Wounded Warrior Project.

The document offers a one-page data sheet on each organization that includes contact names, email, and phone numbers. Although there is no program description or mission statement mentioned for any organization, the data sheet provides website information. This is a great way to learn about organizations that might interest you.

Miss Molly’s Pick of the Litter 

There are so many great causes and so many ways to support our Veterans. Molly narrows it down to her top five favorites (they are really William’s favorites but what William likes, Molly likes).

Disabled American Veterans (DAV)

PO Box 14301; Cincinnati, OH 45250-0301

This tax-exempt, non-profit organization empowers Veterans “to lead high-quality lives with respect and dignity.” The DAV was established by Congress to advocate for Veterans with disabilities. The organization helps Veterans connect with the benefits available to them. As an advocate on Capitol Hill, the DAV focuses on legislative advocacy to support Veterans in transitioning into civilian life. DAV sends its donors postage-paid return envelopes for their donations, calendars, address labels, and notepads.

Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA)

801 Eighteenth Street;Washington, DC 

PVA is a tax-exempt, non-profit that helps America’s Veterans and their families “get back on their feet.” PVA offers therapy and support for wounded Veterans, adaptive sports, advocacy for health care, job training, career opportunities, caregiver support, and ongoing-going events to support Veterans. PVA accepts donations on-line or by mail. The PVA just announced its holiday card contest for Veterans who are artists—how cool is that?

Veterans Administration (VA)

The VA seeks donations for programs to help Veterans. You can make your donation on-line at the VA link above. You can designate your gift to a specific VA medical facility and/or by specific program. The VA states that 100 percent of donations go towards Veterans. The website lists 24 health care programs that you might consider donating to, including the National Center for PTSD. While the VA encourages donations on-line, each facility has a volunteer coordinator where you can send your checks or ask about your specific donation. Do not forget that the VA treasurers the donation of your volunteer time. 

Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA)

8719 Colesville Rd., Suite 100; Silver Spring, Maryland 20910

Of course, we love this organization because it supports Vietnam Veterans. William belonged to a VVA post after he returned from war. It offered activities and information to help him deal with post-war issues. The VVA’s founding principle is “Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another.” Its goal statement is, “To promote and support the full range of issues important to Vietnam veterans, to create a new identity for this generation of veterans, and to change public perception of Vietnam veterans.” The organization has 650 local chapters in 48 states with 75,000 individual members.

Wounded Warriors (WW)

P.O. Box 758517; Topeka, Kansas 66675 

The WW mission statement is, “To honor and empower Wounded Warriors.” Services are provided for warriors injured or wounded co-incident to the military service on or after 911. WW has served 75,287 warriors and over 12,000 family members. WW does great work with those suffering from TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury), which is a tremendous service. I have seen the program in action and spoken with a number of program recipients. The WW Project makes a huge difference in the lives of wounded warriors. We often read of the program’s success stories. You can donate on-line or send a check to the address listed above.

Add One More Pup to the Litter 

Molly adds one more pup to the litter with the Warrior Connection (WC). The Executive Director reached out to Molly and to me through Molly’s blog. Exploring the program on-line gave us enough encouragement that we added the Warrior Connection to our list of donations. WC offers retreats to Veterans to help in dealing with post-war issues. Special retreats are also available for family caregivers. You can donate on-line or by sending a check to P.O. Box 762, Brattleboro, Vermont 05302.

Avoid the Dirty Dog 

As with any donation, be sure to check out the organization and do your due diligence to avoid scams. There are many worthy organizations but there are also the dirty dogs that you need to watch for. Do not hesitate to call the organization and ask them for testimonials or referrals to program benefactors to confirm that the organization truly helps Veterans.

Post your Comments: 

Do you have a favorite organization you give to that helps Veterans, Members of the Military, or their families? Please reply below. 

About the blogger 

Dr. Penelope “Penny” Culbreth-Graft is a retired city manager and graduate professor. She lives with her disabled Vietnam Veteran husband, William, and his service dog, Molly, on Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado. She writes, paints, cares for her husband, and spends time with her granddaughter.