With all of these charity events coming up that require donating money, it's hard to keep track of the "good" organizations (the ones that really do amazing things) and where the money will go - especially with military organizations. In good faith, we donate and tell ourselves that we have to believe that our tiny contribution will make a difference.
But Superman and I have never seen a better organization in action than Homes for Our Troops (HFOT). HFOT builds specially adapted homes -- completely mortgage free! -- for severely injured veterans. The work HFOT does is amazing -- and entirely based on volunteer work. In fact, Superman had the chance to help build one of these homes for a soldier in his unit who was hit by an IED and lost both of his legs.
He, along with hundreds of other soldiers, civilian volunteers, and local businesses, built entire one level house from the ground up.
We attended the "welcome home" ceremony for the soldier and his family -- when they saw the house for the first time. It was a real-life "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition." Except, instead of crying tears of joy at the TV screen, we cried tears of pride because we had a direct hand in helping this family. The house came complete with doors wide enough for his wheelchair. Countertops were also sized at a level that was convenient not only to him, but to his wife and three kids.
We were so moved by our experience with HFOT, that we decided to allocate the money that we would've spent on wedding favors for our guests to HFOT. It was one of the best "wedding-related" decisions we made.
Now, I've set up a little 'tip jar' on the right column of this blog. I don't want to stop giving to HFOT -- if not financially, then physically! A majority of the proceeds raised through that jar will benefit HFOT. I hope you will consider donating.
** P.S. - I do NOT work for HFOT, nor do I know anyone who works for HFOT. We were just completely moved by our experience with them -- one of a dwindling number of organizations who spend less money on overhead costs, and more on helping military families in need!!!!