Give Back, Give Thanks
San Antonio is a proud military town, and nowhere is that more apparent than in the nonprofit sector. As we spend Veterans Day reflecting on our fellow Americans who served in the armed forces, consider going even further and supporting one of these area charities.
In recent months, CultureMap has been taking a look at organizations making a difference in the community, including those that impact the lives of veterans. CultureMap's new San Antonio Charity Guide, presented in partnership with Frost's Opt for Optimism campaign, is a one-stop resource for locals looking for ways to give back.
Here’s a look at some of the San Antonio nonprofits that salute and support military veterans, as well as law enforcement, first responders, and other heroes. Know of a group that should be added? Tell us here.
Operation Finally Home
Mission: Based in New Braunfels, this national organization provide homes and home modifications to America’s military heroes and the widows of the fallen who have sacrificed so much to defend our freedoms. OFH brings together corporate sponsors, builder associations, builders, remodelers, developers, individual contributors, and volunteers to help these heroes and their families by addressing one of their most pressing needs — a place to call home.
Get involved: Learn how to donate via cash, check, bequest, or insurance policy here. OFH also takes applications for builders, contractors, and more. Find out more information here.
Membership: Make a monthly donation here.
Mission: Founded in 2003 by the mother of two American soldiers, Soldiers' Angels is a national nonprofit that provides aid and comfort to the men and women of the United States Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard; their families; and the growing veteran population. Hundreds of thousands of Angel volunteers assist veterans, as well as wounded and deployed personnel and their families, in a variety of ways.
Get involved: The organization has 12 different teams. They range from the Angel Baker Team, which bakes homemade treats, to the Sewing and Crafting Team, which sew blankets for veterans, to the Deployed Adoptions Team, which “adopts” a service member. The team opportunities are virtual, so you can bake goodies, sew blankets, or adopt a soldier no matter where you live. In addition to the virtual teams, Soldiers’ Angels also offers “boots on the ground” opportunities for volunteers within VA hospitals and medical centers. Volunteers and staff coordinate events and activities for veterans at VAs and have the opportunity to participate in patient visits to distribute comfort items. Learn more about getting involved with Soldiers' Angels programs here.
Membership: Make a one-time or recurring donation here.
United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County
Mission: United Way's mission is to increase the organized capacity of people to care for one another. In San Antonio, United Way focuses on helping veterans and military families, as well as improving early care and education for all children, helping students succeed in school, and strengthening families. The United Way 2-1-1 Help Line is a critical link for over half-a-million callers a year seeking assistance and referrals to health and human services across the area. Military service members and veterans can access a comprehensive list of national and local resources here.
Get involved: Visit the volunteer recruitment site to find opportunities.
Membership: United Way leadership contributors are leaders in philanthropy whose wholehearted generosity supports the health and human services needs of San Antonio and Bexar County — they are the foundations of the United Way campaign. Leadership giving programs range from the Emerging Leaders Council ($250 or 24 logged hours of volunteer service) to the Briscoe Society ($5,000-$9,999).
Women Veterans of San Antonio
Mission: The mission of Women Veterans of San Antonio is to serve, honor, and empower women veterans from all eras and branches of service. The organization accomplishes this by providing women veterans opportunities to network, socialize, volunteer, and give back to the community while bringing public awareness to the specific issues of women veterans. The WVSA supports women veterans experiencing a challenging reintegration into civilian life by providing them with personal, meaningful interaction, and by connecting them to their communities through networking, volunteerism, and social activities. They also aim to educate the public and peers by employing the mantra, "Women Are Veterans Too."
Get involved: Learn how to do everything from donating feminine hygiene products to visiting women vets in nursing homes here.
Big event: The nonprofit hosts a number of networking events including coffees and brunches, wine tastings, 5Ks, Ladies Nights Out, and more throughout the year.
Wounded Warrior Project
Mission: The Wounded Warrior Project mission is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors who incurred a physical or mental injury, illnesses, or wound, co-incident to military service on or after September 11, 2001. You may also be eligible for the program if you are the family member or caregiver of a Wounded Warrior.
Get involved: WWP offers a wide range of opportunities to host a fundraiser or simply participate in one. Whether you're looking to spend time or money helping those who've served us, find a way to get involved here.
Big event: Wounded Warrior Project hosts the annual Courage Awards & Benefit Dinner. At this gala, WWP's most passionate supporters are recognized for their service and dedication to WWP's mission to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. The event, which takes place in New York City, fuels the critical support necessary for WWP to offer warriors a range of specialized programs and services — all tailored to each veteran's specific needs — free of charge. For information on events in San Antonio, click here.