This week’s blog comes from Thomas Costello. Thomas is Project Sanctuary’s Chief of Family Support and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). He provides case management support and therapeutic follow-up services to families on our waiting list, who have graduated from a retreat, or who simply reach out in need of help. Thomas also provides counseling on-site at our therapeutic retreats. Today, he shares holiday resources for military families and those wishing to support them.
We recognize that not all military families have enough to go around during the holiday season. With so much already on their plate, we’ve created a list of some of the great organizations who sponsor meals, toys, support and other services during November and December. This list includes volunteer opportunities, ways to donate, and services that military families can sign up for.
The below organizations and events represent only a small number of charitable efforts to serve troops, veterans and families throughout the country, so be sure to check your local media for additional resources. Many of these events require registration, so we’ve listed a website for each organization below.
MEAL DISTRIBUTION AND ASSISTANCE
Nationwide or multiple locations
- Operation Homefront Holiday Meals for Military (Multiple locations, Nov. 17 – Dec. 18, requires advance registration, donations needed)
- Soldiers Angels Food Distribution Events (Multiple locations, Nov. 17 – Dec. 18, requires advance registration for volunteers)
- Holidays for Heroes Adopt a Military Family (Statewide, sponsorships closed, family registration open until Nov. 29 )
- American Friends of Our Armed Forces (AFAF) Adopt-a-Marine (Palm Desert, Thanksgiving Day, advance registration required to host a Marine)
- Homefront America Giving Thanks to Heroes(San Diego, Camp Pendleton, San Juan Capistrano, sponsorship opportunity available, family registration closed)
- North Coast Church(Vista, Thanksgiving Day, RSVP required for families)
- Hugs for Soldiers Thanksgiving Food Drive (Fort Benning, financial donation opportunity, food drive collection closed)
- Christian Service Center Annual Thanksgiving Dinner (San Antonio, Thanksgiving Day, requires advance reservation)
- Operation Home Cooking (San Antonio, Thanksgiving Day, requires advance request to host an Airmen/trainee)
TOYS, TREES, ETC.
- Marine Toys for Tots (ongoing, registration for families closed, donations needed)
- Operation Homefront Holiday Toys for Military Kids (Dec. 1 – 15, advance registration required, donations needed)
- Operation Help-A-Hero Christmas Assistance (ongoing, family registration closed, donations needed)
- USO Holiday Care Packages (ongoing, advance registration required for units, donations needed)
- Salvation Army Angel Tree Program (donations needed)
- Soldiers Angels Adopt-a-Family for Christmas (ongoing, advance registration required for volunteers and families)
- Trees for Troops (Nov. 30 – Dec. 7, registration depends on base, donations needed)
- YMCA Operation Holiday Joy (ongoing, donations needed)
- Spirit of Sharing (ongoing, southern California)
- Vets Charity Christmas Ride (multiple locations, Dec. 9, donations needed)
- American Legion Family Support Network OR call 800-504-4098
- Elks Club
- Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America
- Vets4Warriors (call, email, chat, or text 24 hours a day)