July 2, 2013
“America is another word for opportunity.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson
This Independence Day, take the opportunity to thank those who dedicate themselves to the preservation of our nations history, freedom, and the American spirit.
From our soldiers and their families, to our local museums, each and every day there are individuals who serve our country. You can see them in your community. Check out the list of nonprofits who preserve America’s history and serve it’s citizens. There are lots of great organizations out there to give your hats off to this July 4th – which ones have we missed? Add your favorites below! Or better yet, write a review about them so that everyone will see it when they search.
1. National Parks Conservation Association, Washington, DC
Mission: To protect and enhance America’s National Park System for current and future generations.
“I cannot imagine my life without the Parks that I have been fortunate enough to visit in my 65 years. Seeing all the natural beauty preserved by our forefathers is the basis of my spirituality & my sense of purpose. I believe saving these lands may be one of our greatest accomplishments so far.”
2. National Military Family Association, Alexandria, VA
NMFA is the only national charity educating, informing and representing the evolving needs of families of all the military services.
“The National Military Family Association is a wonderful organization that seems to have a very positive impact in the military community. I feel good knowing my donation is being used in so many great ways!”
3. National Relief Charities, Sherman, TX
Mission: To help Native American people improve the quality of their lives by providing opportunities for them to bring about positive changes in their communities.
“Our native friends greatly appreciate what we do with the NRC – the food boxes and food bags we give out on a regular basis truly helped them in their daily needs.”
4. National Women’s History Museum, Alexandria, VA
This educational institution is dedicated to preserving, interpreting, and celebrating the diverse historic contributions of women, and integrating this rich heritage fully into our nation’s history.
“The National Women’s History Museum has opened not only my eyes to the hundreds of thousands of women who have made our Nation great through their contributions, large and small, and their accomplishments in every field of endeavor but also those of girls, boys, tenagers, college students and the general public…women and men alike.”
5. The Project on Government Oversight, Washington, DC
Through investigations, POGO aims to promote good government reforms and a more effective, accountable, open and ethical federal government.
“POGO makes exhaustive efforts to research and monitor government programs, disseminate their findings to the public, and serve the public as advocates.”
6. The American Constitution Society for Law and Policy, Washington, DC
Through chapters all across the country, ACS educates lawyers, law students, decision makers and the public about the Constitution and its importance for the lives of real people.
“Taking seriously the idea that an educated public is essential to a well-functioning democracy, the ACS provides educational and support networks to help disseminate an historically honest interpretation of the Constitution and its role as America’s founding document.”
7. Sergeant York Patriotic Foundation, Cookeville, TN
SYPF serves to continue historical research, provide education opportunities and increase sustainable heritage tourism to Sgt. York State Park.
“As an educator, I feel it is important for students to know where they have come from and about the people who have risked their lives for our great freedoms. The Sgt. York Patriotic Foundation’s goal is to inform people about Stg. Alvin C. York’s great accomplishments and to use the school he built to help educate our students with vocational skills essential to our economy.”
8. Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Kodak, TN
Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park helps to preserve and protect one of America’s greatest natural treasures by raising funds and awareness, and providing volunteers for need projects.
“The Friends of the Smokies organization is by far one of the greatest organizations related to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The FOTS staff are some of the most passionate and dedicated folks I know, and I have proudly volunteered alongside them with much enthusiasm and pride.”
9. Gig Harbor Peninsula Historical Society, Gig Harbor, WA
Mission: To create opportunities to experience the Gig Harbor community heritage by collecting, preserving and sharing the history of the area.
“The Harbor History Museum is a jewel. Visitors can expect to be wow-ed by the displays and artifacts which are part of the permanent gallery. The museum honors the contributions and stories of a wide range of early settlers who together shaped Greater Gig Harbor.”
10. Tallahassee Museum of History and Natural Science, Tallahassee, FL
The museum encourages people to reach their full potential and contribute to a better sense of community, purpose and place by inspiring them to care for their natural world and value the role of history in their lives.
“…I have maintained my membership over all these years to help support the museum – our richest cultural resource. The museum is thriving with educational experiences, wonderful events, great people and acres of beautiful preserved land and native animals. I feel at peace when there – enjoying the outdoors, the exhibits, the farm or the many other offerings…”
How will you celebrate this Independence Day? Consider volunteering at a great nonprofits that serve America! Read about more volunteer opportunities here.
June 28, 2013
Let July 4th inspire you to do social good this year! In the spirit of appreciating your independence and challenging yourself to uphold the equality and patriotism of this day, here are some ways to give back to the community and to the country.
The Hugs Project
1. Show our troops some love.
What better way to give back this Independence Day than by honoring the men and women who have fought for our freedom? Take a moment to appreciate and thank our troops all around the world for their dedicated service to our country. Send a care package to a soldier stationed in the Middle East through The Hugs Project or donate your gently used mp3 players or monetary contributions to The Silver Star Families of America, which funds and assists injured, ill, and dying troops.
Veterans of Foreign Wars National Home for Children
2. Spend some time with your family…and help out another family in need.
National holidays are times when the whole family can relax and enjoy time together. Take some time to appreciate your family members, and to understand that there are countless other families that are struggling to find stability in their lives. Lend a helping hand to these families today, whether by inviting your neighbors to a backyard barbecue or making a donation to the Veterans of Foreign Wars National Home for Children, which helps military and veteran families find positive change in times of crisis.
Project on Government Oversight
3. Celebrate your independence.
We celebrate Independence Day to commemorate the freedoms, rights, and opportunities established by our Founding Fathers that we still enjoy to this day. This year, resolve to stay informed about the decisions our government is making for us and stand up for your liberties. Look into organizations like the Project on Government Oversight, a nonpartisan, independent nonprofit that champions government reform.
Civil War Trust
4. Educate yourself about the past to succeed in and inspire the future.
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Mull over George Santayana’s words of wisdom while deciding how best to make a lasting impact this 4th of July. Preserve a vital part of America’s history with the Civil War Trust, an organization dedicated to preserving Civil War battlegrounds and educating the public about the important role these lands played in shaping our country. Support efforts to educate our next generation of leaders in a socially responsible way, such as Operation Understanding DC’s mission to build a community of young leaders who work to eradicate racism, anti-Semitism, and discrimination.
5. Volunteer to help with your local celebration.
Love the fireworks, parades, or picnics your town organizes every year for July 4th? This year start giving back at the local level and volunteer to help decorate, plan, or otherwise make your annual celebration a blast. Search your zip code on greatnonprofits.org to find charities and nonprofits close to home that may be hosting special Independence Day events or browse volunteermatch.com to find out what you can do to volunteer for your local festivities.
July 2, 2012
brittanylynae via Flickr
Independence Day is a lot more than just barbecue parties and fireworks. Not that those things aren’t fun, (on what other day of the year can you wear overalls that are emblazoned with tiny American flags?) but on July 4th this year we challenge you to both celebrate and reflect on the true reason for the holiday.
It is a day to celebrate our country’s rich history and to remember the efforts made to secure our independence and the freedoms that come with it. In line with the spirit of the holiday, here is a list of reviewed nonprofits dedicated to the preservation and celebration of our country’s history. Nonprofits who work to uphold the spirit of patriotism, justice and equality.
1. Soldiers Undertaking Disabled Scuba Diving Inc.
“…They take wounded warriors returning from battle and restore some of the mobility they may have lost due to injuries. It must be very liberating to be unshackled from gravity and learn a skill which will last a lifetime. The physical and emotional benefits must be so uplifting!”
2. Intrepid Museum Foundation, Inc
“…I can think of no other organization that does as much good with the contributions they receive…. Films and speakers, overnight trips for schools and scout groups in the newly refurbished lower deck. Space exploration, aircraft from every era of aviation history. Special displays highlighting the US Navy’s early work in integrating our armed forces. It is a wonderful organization, and I am proud to support it.”
3. Telluride Historical Museum Inc
“…Telluride is an incredibly special place and without the Telluride Historical Museum to preserve and share its rich history the specialness of its past would be lost….”
4. Operation Understanding DC
“OUDC has been such an important part of my life and continues to impact me years after I graduated from the program. It has helped shape my education, career path, my way of thinking, my identity, and my understanding of history.”
5. Hope for the Warriors
“H4W gave me a reprieve from the daily struggle that is living with a combat injury, and more than that they showed me how much people care about us… I contacted a few of the people that helped me over a year later and they still remembered me.”