With Veterans Day on November 11, you may be considering ways you can support the men and women currently serving in our nation’s armed forces. The USO is one outstanding organization devoted to our military troops, and you can conduct fundraising campaigns to raise funds for the USO to use in its important work. Host a USO fundraiser planning party now to get started.
Since 1941, the United Service Organizations has stood by our troops through every step of their service. From deployment to rehabilitation and reintegration, The USO is there for soldiers and their families. Because it are not a government agency, the USO relies on generous support from donors to fund programs and services that best fit the needs of American troops.
Donations to the USO supports the following:
- Transitioning Troops and Deployed Troops– during deployment, the USO provide soldiers with a connection to their families, along with entertainment and relaxation. After service has ended, the USO continues to support soldiers as they transition to civilian life.
- Military Families— the USO helps keep families strong and connected both during and after deployment. The USO provides a wide range of programs that support the entire family every step of the way.
- Wounded Warriors and Families of the Fallen–some soldiers return home with physical or invisible wounds. The USO provides therapeutic and reintegration services as they navigate the road to recovery. It also provides support to families of soldiers who have paid the ultimate price while serving their country.
The USO provides programs, entertainment and services at more than 200 USO locations worldwide, including Afghanistan, Djibouti, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Germany, Italy, Japan, Iraq, South Korea and the United States. In 2016, USO centers were visited more than seven million times by service members and their families. USO centers provide warm and comforting places where service members can connect to loved ones via Internet or phone, play a video game, see a movie, enjoy a snack or just relax. Currently, the four USO centers in Afghanistan collectively average more than 25,000 visits a month, while our two centers in Kuwait collectively average more than 39,500 visits monthly.
If you see this work of the USO as most valuable to our service personnel, invite some of your enthusiastic friends over to talk about ways that you all can fundraise for the USO. Go to the USO website, to learn more about ways you can do this. Be sure to read their USO-Fundraising-Guidelines.pdf so that you are proceeding in the proper way.
When you have your friends over, you don’t really need to decorate unless you want to put a red, white and blue patriotic decoration or some American flags as a centerpiece for your food table. Have some finger-food snacks with patriotic paper napkins for your guests to enjoy as they share ideas. You might want to have a coffee or hot tea bar with specialty creamers or stir-in treats for your guests to try.
Be sure to have paper and pens for your guests to use as you all brainstorm ideas for how to raise funds for the USO. There are many online sites where you can fundraise for different causes and you can encourage all your friends on Facebook or Twitter to go to your USO account to contribute. You can gather funds by using collection boxes in local stores or community centers or at tables at local events. You might even sponsor a USO concert, talent show or dance with local celebrities and performers. You might be able to line up a local military band or chorus from a nearby fort to come to play and collect donations at the door for the USO.
Once you and your friends have determined the project that you all feel you can sponsor with good results, it’s time to get started. Make assignments of who will do what, and plan another meeting for a week or two later to assess where the planning is and how soon you all can launch your fundraising. Have a specific time frame for your event so that potential donors will contribute in a timely fashion.
Be sure to share facts about the USO and its work with your potential donors. The more they understand about how much the USO is helping our military men, women and their families, the more likely they will donate. Check the USO website for facts, photos and videos to show or link to your fundraising website.
Gather your friends together for a brunch or evening planning party, and together you all can make the lives of our current service personnel better with the funds you raise for the USO!