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2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit

The Silver Star Families of America

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Human Service Organizations, Human Services, Military & Veterans Organizations, Veterans

Mission: To remember, honor and assist the wounded and ill of our Armed Forces from all wars.

Results: ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF THE SILVER STAR FAMILIES OF AMERICA THE SILVER STAR FAMILIES OF AMERICA IS PROUD TO ANNOUNCE THAT WE HAVE REACHED THE 2 MILLION DOLLAR MARK IN DONATIONS to THE WOUNDED AND ILL. The SSFOA was founded in 2004 with one mission: To remember, honor and assist the wounded of our Armed Forces from all wars. Since that time, our members have donated more than 2 million dollars in volunteer time and material all while operating on a shoestring budget. Membership in 2005 8 Membership in 2011 Approx. 5000 Over two thousand Silver Star Banners and Certificates have been provided free of charge to our wounded and ill valued at approx, $40,000. The SSFOA has become a Veterans Administration Volunteer Services Advisory Board Member and we have donated hundreds of care packages and cards and letters to our wounded, ill and homeless valued at approx. $30,000 dollars of donated material being given to Veterans Facilities in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. Volunteers with the SSFOA have donated 47,912 hours valued at $934,763.00. http://www.volunteer.va.gov/APPS/VOLUNTEERNOW/calculator.asp The SSFOA is a certifying organization with the Presidential Volunteer awards program and have issued 21 awards. The SSFOA has become one of the leading advocates for those wounded with Post Traumatic Stress with testimony given before Congress. Testifying organization with the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. The SSFOA is a member of Guide star and 97.6% of every dollar donated goes to program services. The SSFOA is the sponsor of Silver Star Banner Day on May 1st of every year. In 2011, 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands and over 2,900 cities and counties signed proclamations for our wounded. May 1st has been approved as Silver Star Service Banner Day by the United States House and Senate. The SSFOA now has a program to honor Care givers and MWD. We have started a wide variety of programs geared to our wounded and ill: SILVER STAR PROGRAMS FOR WOUNDED AND FAMILIES Silver Star Families assists our wounded and families thru programs geared to help the healing process. It is our wish to help you find avenues to meet your need. We also extend an invitation to join our online community. JOIN SSFOA Visit www.silverstarfamilies.org to see programs details. SILVER STAR BANNER SSFOA wishes to honor all service members injured in the combat zone and/or those with related illnesses including PTSD, Gulf War Syndrome, Agent Orange, and injured by friendly fire. We also honor Purple Heart recipients. To Request a Banner go to HOME page and to REQUEST BANNER GAMES FOR WOUNDED Silver Star Families joins with Soldiers' Angels in their Lend a Hand Program. "Poly Trauma patients enjoy the games, and increase their hand eye coordination," said Steve Newton, Co-founder of The Silver Star Families of America. An article on The Washington Post site quotes the folks at Walter Reed hospital in DC, who report that videogames make excellent therapy sessions for soldiers wounded in the Iraq conflict. In addition to the obvious medical benefits of refining motor control via controllers, the entertainment allows soldiers to reconnect to experiences they may have had prior to their combat experiences. Therapists see the games benefiting patients with nearly any kind of injury, including patients with traumatic brain injuries. Click on GAMES FOR WOUNDED on HOME page to request games for wounded during their hospital stay. HONORING HUNGRY HEROES WITH FOOD CARDS National SSFOA has launched a new program "Honoring Hungry Heroes." McDonald's and Taco Bell gift cards treat our Wounded Heroes to a meal or two at these restaurants and possibly their family too. Wounded or family member may request Food Cards during your hospital stay by clicking on HONORING HUNGRY HEROES. Use the same link if you wish to donate to this worthy cause. SILVER STAR LETTER WRITING TEAM SSFOA members join together in supporting our wounded overseas, statewide and in Veterans hospitals and homes with letters and cards. The team plans to reach a goal of 10,000 letters during the National Salute to Hospitalized Veterans. Please fill out the form at JOIN SSFOA to become a Silver Star volunteer and indicate that you wish to join the Writing Team. PTS and TBI RESOURCES GIVE AN HOUR SSFOA teamed up with Give an Hour an organization dedicated to developing and maintaining a national network of volunteers capable of responding to both acute and chronic conditions that arise within our society. Their first target is the Soldiers and their families who are being affected by the current conflicts. Click on GIVE AN HOUR for details. WHAT IS PTS Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTS) can be terrifying. They may disrupt your life and make it hard to continue with your daily activities. It may be hard just to get through the day. PTS symptoms usually start soon after the traumatic event, but they may not happen until months or years later. They also may come and go over many years. If the symptoms last longer than 4 weeks, cause you great distress, or interfere with your work or home life, you probably have PTS. More details on www.silverstarfamilies.org FIND HELP IN YOUR AREA I am an American Veteran. Who do I contact for help with PTS? See Area Map Contact your local VA Hospital or Veterans Center located in your telephone book, or call the VA Health Benefits Service Center toll free at 1-877-222-VETS. In addition to its medical centers, VA also has many CBOCs (Community Based Outpatient Clinics) around each state so you can look for one in your community. You can also use any of the information on treatment for the general public. PTS RESOURCES for list of resources go to www.silverstarfamilies.org PTS NEWS DoD Receives Mental Health Task Force Results. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates received the Department of Defense Task Force on Mental Health results and forwarded them to the Congress on June 14.The department will have six months to develop and implement a corrective action plan. REMEMBRANCE OF SERVICE Dedicated to John A. Courant the "Destroyerman" The Silver Star Families of America and the Thank You Foundation wish to say THANK YOU to our many Patriots who have been wounded while actively serving the United States of America by presenting them with a Certificate. Click on REMEMBRANCE OF SERVICE found in the links on www.silverstarfamilies.org Hospice Program Prayers Blankets are provided for our dying veterans. VETERANS PROGRAMS HOMELESS VETERANS: To see a list of of stand downs planned for 2008 and other homeleses Vets resources. INCARCERATED VETERANS The Silver Stars will never forget any wounded Veteran be they homeless or incarcerated. We are there. WOMEN VETERANS See a list of resources to benefit women veterans. VA COMPLAINTS Process for complaints and VA Hotline National Headquarters Silver Star Families of America 525 Cave Hollow Road, Clever, MO 65631-6313

Target demographics: The Wounded and Ill of our Armed Forces

Direct beneficiaries per year: Thousands

Geographic areas served: National/International

Community Stories

77 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Great Organization.. Highly recommend it to anybody that is looking to volunteer and help out our Military wounded and Ill and Dying..

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am the mother of a Wounded Warrior, 3 times in Iraq, each time he was injured. Silver Star Families of America offers me support and information. These are people who get it because they also have been there & done that.

Diana43

Board Member

Rating: 5

After almost 10 years with the Silver Star Families of America I continue to be amazed at the wonderful folks that have just as much passion for the mission as I do- sometimes more!!!

It is our duty to recognize, honor and advocate for the combat wounded, injured and ill troops and Veterans. When personally able to present the Silver Star Service banner package it is an experience like no other, even after the 1,000's of the SSSB packages that have either been presented or mailed for presentation, each one unique and touching- just like each individual recipient. I am grateful and thankful for our vital role of our mission to be able to be a part of such a wonderful thing.

The SSFOA operates on a 'shoe string' budget and the things and programs and initiatives that we accomplish on so little just goes to show that what is in the heart - not the coinpurse- is the soul of success. We thank each wounded and/or ill that we connect with and we thank the generosity of our donors, supporters, alumni and membership with gratitude. Without you there would be no SSFOA and that would be a sad day, indeed. THANK YOU all.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

SSFoA is an excellent organization. Positive support and understanding. Any questions - just ask because someone may have an answer or maybe it is just a hugs & a prayer. I am Mom to a combat wounded warrior, his injury can not be seen so he "appears normal" and you just can't talk about with non military types because they just do not get it, the long waits at the VA, the VA not answering questions or following through with appointments, his raging rants.... These are people who have Been There Done That and understand your frustration and also celebrate in the victories no matter how big or small.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Silver Star Families is an amazing organization that honors our wounded warriors. Many people have seen the gold star and blue star service banners, but only a few understand the sacrifice our Veterans and their families endure day in and day out when that banner hangs in their window. With Silver Star Families providing the banner free of charge, it shows that the nation understands the sacrifice we wounded warriors have given for service to our country and wants to thank us for it. They additionally do other events to help our wounded and ill Veterans. With Gulf War Illness and now what can only be called Burn Pit Illness, they help educate American citizens about the battles we face now at home inside out bodies from the toxins we were exposed to. Without media attention, Congressional Support, and public attention we could easily be the forgotten remnants of a war. After becoming a Wounded Warrior myself in Afghanistan in 2012, the first organization I found to help me in this new chapter in my life was Silver Star Families of America. I will never forget what they have done for me!

Advisor

Rating: 5

I became involved with Silver Star Families of America in the course of my years-long association with veterans outside of official capacity. As a totally disabled veteran I spent many, many days at the GEW Memorial Veterans Medical Center in Salt Lake City over the last 15+ years of treatments. I have personally talked with hundreds of veterans over that period. What struck me as extremely important was that there just didn't seem to be anyone or any organization out there helping a lot of the really depressed and financially desperate vets I spoke to. Several months ago, through a very dear friend's recommendation, I got in touch with SSFoA and asked how I could help. This opened a whole new world of people who are dedicated to fill that void of caring and assistance! I then applied for and was accepted as an adviser for the group and have since been finding lots of new ways to make a difference in the lives of veterans nationwide. Please reach out generously and give to Silver Star Families of America. There is NO veterans' support charity in the nation that is better equipped and more dedicated to the service of our "forgotten veterans". May God bless them for the wonderful work they do.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer with Silver Star Families of America, I have found them to be very helpful in assisting me when I need advice or help with an issue. They are a very sincere friendly group of people, and they have come a long way. Successfully bringing back May 1 as a traditional day of recognition for our wounded and sick veterans. This has been a remarkable achievement, and I am proud of being part of this endeavor. The Silver Star Flag, which is the official flag for our wounded and sick veterans, can now be seen flying across our nation. This charity provides meal cards and items for 'stand downs.' Any veteran can and does, when made known, the honor of receiving the Silver Star flag. This charity is recognised throughout the United States for its compassionate concern for our veterans of all wars.

1 Carol62

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Silver Star Families of America is a wonderful organization. My first project was to send cards to veterans who were hospitalized. The second project was sending cards at different holidays to military personnel whether Iraq or Afghanistan, or on a aircraft carrier. As the daughter of a career Army officer, it's important to show how much they are appreciated. Their honor, commitment and courage are recognized by this Patriot. I highly recommend Silver Star Families of America! Submitted by: Carol McGuinn email: isalutetheflag2@yahoo.com

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hello. My name is Carl Cronk, Veterans Service Officer, U.S. Army Ambassador. Through personal experience and working with the members of the Silver Star Families of America they are by far at the top of the list. What they do for the thousands of military personnel current and prior and their families ls admirable. Each staff member and volunteer is fastidious and pertinacious in all they do and they are to be commended. The Silver Star Families of Americal consistently show a high degree of enthusiasm, energy, and force in helping the heros of our nation.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

My son was injured in Iraq and is in the process of being medically discharged from the military, Silver Star Families of America have been there to support me and provide me with many resources and answers or directions to find the answers to my many questions.

1 Jeremy5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Silver Star Families of America is a growing organization with a mission vital to the recognition of sacrifices made by our wounded warriors and their families. It's mission has become so profound that the Missouri Governor--twice yearly--holds ceremonies in his Capitol office during which he presents Missouri wounded with Silver Star Banners on behalf of a grateful state and nation. What better endorsement for our heroes than this! Thank you SSFOA for all you have done.

1 Carrie31

Volunteer

Rating: 5

SSFOA is one of the greatest organizations I've been associated with. I've been a volunteer, Board Member and doner. Steve and Diana go out of their way to attend to the needs of the wounded and their families.

1 Cathy23

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I joined the SSFOA after my son was wounded in Iraq while serving with the USMC. I have made lasting friends while working for this organization. It really gives you a good feeling to be able to help wounded military and veterans by writing cards and letters, collecting personal care items, and making up gift boxes for hospitalized veterans. I have also been able to give and recieve support as the mother of a wounded service man.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I joined the Silver Star Families after my son was wounded in Iraq. I wanted to help other servicemen and families who were going through the same thing I did. This organization honors and assists servicemen injured or wounded in a war zone. We have written cards and letters of thanks and encouragement to the wounded, those suffering from PTSD
and their families. We have provided gift bags of personal care items to VA Medical Centers as well as baked cookies and sent boxes of items to both Iraq and Afghanistan. We have given DVD's and CD's to various hospitals including Landsthul. We have honored the sacrifice of thousands of servicemen by awarding them the Silver Star Service Banner.

1 Hazel S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have worked with Silver Star Families of America for 6 years. It is the most wonderful and warm experience of my life. They do everything they can to help our wounded and ill. They work from donations only and really does need help. Soldiers in hospitals receive help, veterans in hospitals and homes receive help, veterans on the street receive help - they go 100% of the way to find wounded or ill to help. They have a wonderful PTSD program and a hot line for those that need to talk or are suicidal. They are the best! I will work with them until they are no longer needed - but there will always be wars and the need. God bless them for the work they do.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a member of Silver Star Families of America for about 5 years now and truly enjoy the things we do to help our wounded and ill. Volunteering is so heart warming and rewarding and I can't think of any other organization that I would enjoy as much. Steve and Diana are such an inspiration to everyone and they work tirelessly. It is a truly a gift to our wounded that they founded SSFOA. SSFOA needs more volunteers and I pray about it daily. God bless our wounded and ill and all of our military veterans and active duty. Our country is very blessed to have each one of them. God bless America.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a member of the letter writing team. It is so heartwarming to participate in a program that offers support to our military who are deployed as well as those who have returned home. This wonderful non-profit consistently communicates the needs of our wounded for letter writing volunteers to send cards of encouragement and well wishes. Volunteers who take on leadership roles are true examples of the spirit of giving unconditionally. The focus is on the mission and the number of people making it happen is a testament to the integrity and purpose for which this organization was founded. I am proud to say I am a volunteer for the Silver Star Families of America.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am proud to be a volunteer with the SSFOA. Our Leadership is strong our Goal simple . Every question is answered no matter how trivial. The feed back is appreciated and advice given were needed in order to help me be a better volunteer.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

The Silver Star Families gives me an opportunity to give back to those men and women who have not only given their lives literally but to the ones who made it home (sometimes with limbs missing and other horrible injuries). I personally want to do something directly to affect their situations and this was the way I chose to do it. I am so happy there are groups like the Silver Star Families who do care about the veterans who return home and while they are still away and follow up with them and keep tabs on their situations after they return. They need help; any and all kinds of help. We can go through these great organizations to give back.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Silver Star Families is truly a mission that is all about giving our combat wounded, ill, injured and dying the recognition and honor they deserve. SSFOA is very careful and protective of how these wonderful heroes are treated, both those still serving and as Veterans. The org and its members hold its mission in highest esteem and work together to see it accomplished for our "kids."

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

Very emotional to see those honored for serving their country from all wars. Presentations where injured were there and honored for what they had done 60 years ago, 50 years ago, 40 years ago to now.

4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I stand back in awe and watch how this organization honors wounded and ill from all wars. Now I have heard that they are honoring the dying veterans with prayer blankets. This is a first rate organization.