Click on the bold titles below to be linked to the websites listed
** denotes awaiting 2019 information

Invite a service member into your home for Thanksgiving

Here is a listing of opportunities to invite a service member into your home to share a Thanksgiving meal with your family

  • MCAS Miramar Enlisted Recreation Center Home for the Holidays  (San Diego, California)  HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS is a special Thanksgiving program sponsored by the MCAS Miramar Enlisted Recreation Center. It coordinates placement of single service members into the homes of San Diego County families to celebrate Thanksgiving. Caring families are asked to host service members who are unable to be with their own families and loved ones on this traditional family holiday. These families are carefully selected to suit our active duty service members and host preferences. 1) Service members wishing placement with community families are required to submit an invitation/application form by Tuesday, November 19, 2019. Forms can be picked up and returned to the The Great Escape, The Hub Bldg 5305 (west side) or this form can be faxed to The Great Escape at (858) 577-4775. 2. Host Families must be willing to provide round-trip transportation to and from MCAS Miramar for their military guests. 3. Generally, not more than two service members are placed with each community family. 4. Service members will be picked up from The Great Escape between 10:00 am and 1:00 pm. Military personnel and host families will be contacted regarding specific assignments and pick-up times. 5. If you have any questions, or need more information about or HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS THANKSGIVING PROGRAM, contact The Great Escape at (858) 577-6171.

  • Operation Home Cooking (San Antonio, TX)  San Antonio area families can express their warmth and hospitality to Airmen and trainees at Lackland AFB by allowing them an opportunity to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal and family atmosphere. Families within the San Antonio metropolitan area may invite two Airman or trainees.

  • Training Support Center Great Lakes (North Chicago, IL) This year, Sailors assigned to Training Support Center Great Lakes (TSC) onboard Naval Station Great Lakes (NAVSTA) will enjoy Thanksgiving dinner with local families thanks to the Adopt-a-Sailor program. The Thanksgiving Adopt-a-Sailor is a program in which Sailors are invited into families' homes to share Thanksgiving dinner. It's an opportunity for Sailors to enjoy a home-cooked meal and the company of a family. It has been a tradition here at Great Lakes since World War I. All host forms must be received on October 30, 2019. For further information or questions, please call TSC Public Affairs Office at 847-688-4862, ext. 161. - Host Family LINK

Here are some valuable tips to consider when you host a service member - LINK

Thanksgiving support for military and veteran families

Here is a listing of organizations that are hosting Thanksgiving dinner events across the nation for military and veteran families:

  • Arena Stage (Washington, DC)  Every year, hundreds of Washington-area military families spend the Thanksgiving holiday away from loved ones. In gratitude for their service, Arena Stage will invite 200 wounded warriors, service men and women and their families to an elegant dinner and a performance of Disney's Newsies at the Mead Center for American Theater on Friday, November 29, 2019.

  • Christian Service Center (San Antonio, TX)  Thanksgiving for active duty and their families -- Thanksgiving is coming up soon! Anyone that would like to RSVP stop on by for a form or give us a call! Also looking for volunteers for the set up and cooking on Thanksgiving Day! Give us a call at (210) 223-4962. Event takes place on November 28, 2019 from 7 AM – 6 PM CST.

  • Deli Planet (Wichita Falls, TX)  Thursday, November 28 from 11am - 8pm The Deli Planet of Wichita Falls will host its fifth annual Thanksgiving with the military. Free of charge for members stationed at Sheppard Air Force Base.

  • First Presbyterian Church (Littleton, CO)  Veterans and active duty military and their families are invited to a free Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday, November 28, 2019 from noon-2 pm at First Presbyterian Church of Littleton, 1609 W. Littleton Blvd., Littleton, CO 80120. Phone (303)798-1389

  • Friendsgiving (Chicago, IL)  We would love to invite local military to come out, perhaps join us for the 10 a.m. service, and feast with us at this pre-Thanksgiving celebration at Lincoln Park High School on Sunday, November 17, at 12 noon.

  • Homefront America (San Diego, Camp Pendleton, San Juan Capistrano, CA) This Thanksgiving, Homefront America would like to say "thank you" with its "Giving Thanks to Heroes" program. Families will receive non-perishable groceries plus a Turkey Certificate that can be redeemed for a turkey at any grocery store or commissary.

  • House in the Woods (Lee, ME)  Veterans and Community Thanksgiving Dinner Thursday, November 28, 2019, serving at 2:00, 4:00, 6:00pm. Reservation requested. Free to all veterans.

  • Hugs for Soldiers (Fort Benning, GA) Hugs for Soldiers, a ministry of Duluth First United Methodist Church, Duluth, GA, is collecting canned food and non-perishable food items to make Thanksgiving food baskets for Soldiers and families at Fort Benning. Donations being received through Friday, November 13, 2019.

  • Koa Ohana (Honolulu, HI) 6th Annual Koa Ohana Thanksgiving lunch takes place at the Oahu Veterans Center on  November 28, 2019 from 10 am - 2pm. Free for all military veterans and their families.

  • ​Lock Haven University Thanksgiving Dinner (Lock Haven, PA)  Lock Haven University will host a veterans’ dinner at 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 18 in the Durrwachter Alumni Conference Center (DACC) on the campus of LHU. All area U.S. servicemen and women, along with one guest, are welcome to enjoy a free Thanksgiving-style dinner, served by LHU students and Lock Haven community volunteers. Seating is limited to a total of 200 people. Call the Clinton County Office of Veterans Affairs at 570-484-4339 by Monday, November 11 to reserve a seat.

  • USO San Antonio and Boudro's Restaurant (San Antonio, TX)  USO San Antonio and Boudro's Restaurant are hosting a fabulous Thanksgiving Day Feast on Thursday, November 28, 2019 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. This event is open to active duty, Guard, Reserve, retired service members and their families. Select a reservation time that you and your family would like to attend.

  • VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars)  Check with your local VFW as many across the country serve Thanksgiving Day meals.

​Here are some events that are supporting military and veteran families with Thanksgiving meal baskets or free turkeys:

  • Boots on the Ground NY (Ronkonkoma,NY)  Saturday November 16th will be a food collection day as we need turkeys and groceries to supply our veterans with the holidays. (10am till 4pm) If you’re a Veteran in need to of a Thanksgiving Turkey and food, please stop down after 1pm on Saturday, November 16th.

  • Holiday Hero Meals (Hansomb AFB, Massachusetts)  Military Friends Foundation “Hero Meals” gives thanks to those who serve. Massachusetts service members, veterans, and families of the fallen are invited to attend. This year's events include a bag of holiday fixings and a $50 grocery gift card to purchase a turkey. Please RSVP to secure your gift card and bag. We are grateful for the support of our 2019 host partners including the Command of Hanscom AFB and the Town of Swampscott.

  • Homefront America Giving Thanks to Heroes program  Even turkeys want to do their part to help support our Troops! Every Thanksgiving, Homefront America volunteers put together more than 250 Thanksgiving food baskets for our military families to enjoy. In addition to the food baskets, families also receive a certificate that can be used to redeem for a turkey of their choice.

  • Hugs for Soldiers (Fort Benning, GA)  Hugs for Soldiers is collecting canned food and non-perishable food items to make Thanksgiving food baskets for Soldiers and Families at Fort Benning through the Battle Buddy Resource Center. The Center is a food bank ministry of the Fort Benning Chaplains and ministry outreach to the Fort Benning community. Donations will be accepted at the Duluth First United Methodist Church through Wednesday, November 13, 2019.

  • Operation Holiday Joy (ASYMCA)  If you are a service member or family member in need, please find your local ASYMCA branch to learn more about Operation Holiday Joy programming available where you live. If you are a business owner or corporate representative and are interested in supporting Operation Holiday Joy, please contact the Chief Development Officer. 

  • Operation Holiday Joy (ASYMCA) (Virginia Beach, VA)  The ASYMCA's Annual Thanksgiving Food Drive is partnering with Navy Federal Credit Union with a goal to provide 500 (or more!) food baskets and turkeys to junior enlisted military families. This is a huge undertaking and requires a tremendous amount of volunteer help. We'd love for you and your teams to be a part of this special program helping families in need! Branches in the Tidewater region have been supporting this worthwhile event for the last several years and have collected donations feeding over 1,000 families during the holidays! We are collecting specific items to fill bags with everything a family needs for a complete Thanksgiving dinner. If your branch would like to participate, they are asking that we provide full baskets with each basket including the following: a box of mashed potatoes, a box of stuffing, a can of corn, a can of green beans, a can of cranberry sauce, a can of yams, gravy and a box of brownie mix. Your teams may also donate money, in lieu of the actual food items, that would go towards any additional baskets they would need to fill. The following branches have graciously agreed to be designated collection sites from 08 October - 08 November: Greenbrier, Kempsville, Lake Shores Plaza, Newtown Road, Pembroke. **Food drop off deadline has been extended.**

  • Operation Homefront  Various organizations are teaming up with Operation Homefront to provide military service members and their families a Thanksgiving dinner.

  • Paws and Patriots Thanksgiving Food Drive (Orange, CA)  Our goal is to donate 250 Thanksgiving bags to our Patriots and Paws families. Join us for the Thanksgiving holiday to support our active military and veteran families by placing a warm hearty meal on each plate. With your contributions and/or donations, we can give thanks to those who serve.

  • Project New Hope's Turkey Giveaway (Worcester, MA)  Registration is open now open for the “Turkey Giveaway” program sponsored by the Arredondo Family Foundation in partnership with Project New Hope Inc. The program aims to distribute 125 turkeys to low income veterans, military families and Families of the Fallen in the region. Distribution day: Saturday, November 23rd, 2019 from 12:00 to 4:00pm. ONLY.

  • Road Home Program (Chicago, IL)  Veterans, Come join us on Thursday, November 21, 2019 (4:00-7:00 pm) for our 6th Annual Turkey Drop at the Jewel-Osco, 1340 South Canal Street, Chicago, IL 60607. Our friends from MillerCoors will be passing out frozen Thanksgiving meals to veterans that register in advance and present valid ID. There will also be representatives from the Chicago Bears on site for a special meet and greet. Register now to attend here:

  • San Clemente Military Families Outreach (North Camp Pendleton, CA) SCMFO's annual Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner Giveaway to military families is scheduled to take place at the San Onofre commissary on November 25, 2019 from 11 AM to 1 PM.

  • Space Coast Thanksgiving Basket Brigade (Satellite Beach,FL) Our Space Coast Power Team is proud to announce our 10th Annual Thanksgiving Basket Brigade! The Space Coast Basket Brigade is a family run non-profit that is dedicated to supporting families in need in our local community. Our Annual Thanksgiving Basket Brigade is our main event and we are happy to say grows exponentially each year!! Who receives a basket? Families who have fallen on hard times due to low income, loss of income, death in the family, or illness. active and veteran military families and families living in shelters. We work with many local schools, churches, and organizations to find the families and also accept personal nominations. We also deliver over 150 In Transition Baskets to families who are living in hotels, shelters, parks, tents, or homeless. Event takes place Sunday, November 24 from 10:00am - 3pm.

  • United Military Care (Marietta, GA)  Are you a military or veteran family in need of a little help for Thanksgiving? Pre-register to pick up meal ingredients for Thanksgiving in Marietta.

  • USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore (Arlingon, VA)  Turkeys for Troops will take place on Thursday, November 21, 2019 in the Community Ballroom at Joint Base Myer Henderson Hall, Building 405, 228 McNair Rd, Fort Myer, VA 22211, and at the USO Warrior and Family Center — Bethesda, Building 83, 4565 Taylor Street, Bethesda, MD 20815.. More info - Link (Link to other USO chapters)

Invite a service member into your home for Christmas

  • MCAS Miramar Enlisted Recreation Center Home for the Holidays (San Diego, California)  ​HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS is a special Christmas program sponsored by the MCAS Miramar Enlisted Recreation Center. It coordinates placement of single service members into the homes of San Diego County families to celebrate Christmas. Caring families are asked to host service members who are unable to be with their own families and loved ones on this traditional family holiday. These families are carefully selected to suit our active duty service members and host preferences. 1) Service members wishing placement with community families are required to submit an invitation/application form by Friday, 20 December, 2019. Forms can be picked up and returned to The Great Escape, The Hub Bldg 5305 (westside) or this form can be faxed to The Great Escape at (858) 577-4775. 2. Host Families must be willing to provide round-trip transportation to and from MCAS Miramar for their military guests. 3. Generally, not more than two service members are placed with each community family. 4. Service members will be picked up from The Great Escape between 10:00 am and 1:00 pm. Military personnel and host families will be contacted regarding specific assignments and pick-up times. 5. If you have any questions, or need more information about or HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS CHRISTMAS PROGRAM, contact The Great Escape at (858) 577-6171.

Christmas support for military and veteran families

  • Able Forces Adopt a Warrior Christmas Program (Washington, DC) Many of our warrior families are in financial crisis this holiday season. Able Forces is adopting at least one warrior family in the Washington, DC Metropolitan area from each of the five Military Services and providing an entire Christmas to each. Able Forces will provide the families: a Christmas tree, complete dinner that serves up to 8 people, stocking stuffers, presents for the entire family* (*Able Forces will provide each child up to five gifts off a “wish list” the parents have provided. Our military member and their spouse will also receive a gift.) If contributions exceed the cost of supporting our five families additional families will be identified and sponsored. All donations contributed between 1 October and 15 December will go directly to support this program.

  • Adopt a Family Michigan (Volunteers of America) (Michigan)  Volunteers of America Michigan’s Adopt A Family program helps families with children, seniors and veterans by providing food, toys and clothing. The Adopt A Family program connects those who can help with those who need help. This Volunteers of America program is an opportunity for individuals, teams, companies and organizations to reach out and lift up those in need, either through direct adoption or financial contribution.

  • **Adopt A Hero for Christmas (San Antonio, TX) Adopt a Hero for Christmas is a charity comprised of people who honor and support America's wounded Soldiers and their families who have sacrificed so much to protect our nation and ensure our freedom. Our mission is to bring the joy of Christmas to our heroes and their families. We collect Christmas gifts and needed items for our wounded Soldiers and their families at the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. We deliver these gifts to our heroes during Christmas and we visit with them. Please help by donating an unwrapped gift for a wounded Soldier, their spouse or their children. (awaiting 2019 info)

  • Armed Services YMCA - Operation Holiday Joy Help make the holidays brighter for military families. We are continuing to see an increased need in both demand and support for this program. These young heroes and their families are voluntarily serving and sacrificing daily so we can continue to enjoy our freedoms and way of life. Your support demonstrates an appreciation for the sacrifices required of these dedicated defenders of our country. We look forward to receiving your support to continue making military life easier this holiday, and every holiday season. Happy 13 year Anniversary Operation Holiday JoyOperation Holiday Joy was initially established in collaboration with Woman’s Day Magazine and their readers to raise awareness and funds for military service members and their families during the holidays. Since 2004, Operation Holiday Joy supporters have donated more than $1.7 million for military and their families. YOUR generosity has allowed us to purchase and distribute more than 320,000 toys as well as deliver over 25,000 baskets of food for Thanksgiving and Christmas to junior enlisted families in need.  LINK to Armed Services YMCA locations.

  • Armed Services YMCA - Operation Gift Card 2019 (Lawton-Fort Sill, OK)  Thursday, December 5, 2019 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM - Junior Enlisted Soldiers and their families: please join us for a night of gift cards, good times, and goodies! Santa will be present as will treats. Gift cards will be randomly given out, number of cards depends on family size. Cards to various locations in varying amounts will be given to help you through the holidays. Notes: Must be pre-registered and bring E-1 through E-5 Active Duty ID. Children must be present to receive a gift.

  • Armed Services YMCA (Camp Pendleton, CA)  Secret Santa - The Christmas program matches San Diego County businesses, civic organizations and community members with command referred, junior enlisted families needing help during the holiday season. It provides the community an opportunity to give back to our military families. We are grateful to our community sponsors providing toys and bicycles in order to make our family's Christmas possible. Santa’s Workshop differs from Secret SANTA as it is open to all ranks who need a little extra help and support during the holidays.

  • A Soldier's Child Family to Family Christmas (Fort Campbell, KY)  A Soldier’s Child seeks to be responsible for over 500 Gold Star children having a blessed Christmas morning. There will be caring folks from the Southeast up to the Northeast areas giving back to these children through ASC’s S.O.S Christmas.

  • AUSA General John W. Vessey Jr. Chapter - Toys 4 Military Kids (Minnesota, Wisconsin)  Our mission is to provide gifts to military members and their families during the holidays in recognition of the sacrifices they have made on our behalf. We support units and families in four states including Minnesota and Wisconsin.

  • Believe with Me  Our American Gold Star Christmas project gives grateful Americans the opportunity to let our Gold Star kids know that they are remembered during the challenging Christmas season.

  • Care 4 R Troops (Central Florida)  We adopt military families at Christmas.

  • Coalition to Salute America's Heroes Holiday Gift Checks ~ Each year, the Coalition distributes gift checks to thousands of wounded veterans and their families for holidays such as Easter and Thanksgiving so they can enjoy a traditional holiday meal together, and $500 ‘Secret Santa’ checks that enable them to participate in the gift-giving tradition of the season, and still meet other pressing financial obligations.

  • Fill it Up! (The Bohemian and Newby-ginnings of North Idaho, Inc) (Spokane Valley, WA)  In partnership with Newby-ginnings, our FILL IT UP event starts November 12 and ends with a weekend event and sale on December 8 and 9, 2019. Help us fill up our trailer with requested items from over 3,500 local military families during this holiday season! We have a listing of requested items you can drop off at The Bohemian.

  • Fort Hood Santa's Workshop (Fort Hood, TX)  Fort Hood Santa's Workshop is a  non-profit organization. We were created exclusively for charitable purposes as a unit-level (13thCOSCOM) initiative. Out of necessity, it grew into an installation-level project in 1998. Too often soldiers face unique financial stress. We don't want military kids to feel that stress. Our mission is to make new toys accessible for children of the Fort Hood military community during the holiday season. In times of financial crisis Christmas presents may be a luxury. Our military kids deserve an amazing holiday. And who knows the needs of individual children better than their parents? At Santa's Workshop Fort Hood, the parents browse our well-stocked shelves to make the most appropriate selection from brand new toys, games and books for their children.

  • Freedom Alliance Presents for Patriots Christmas can be bittersweet for families depending on their circumstances and this is no less true for those who serve in our nation’s armed forces. There might be a family member deployed overseas during the holiday, or perhaps their loved one has returned not quite the same as when he or she left. Financial crisis, time constraints, and other stresses can make Christmas a cause for anxiety and sorrow rather than celebration for our military families. As difficult as these situations can be, this need creates an advantageous time to demonstrate goodwill for our heroes at home. The Freedom Alliance Presents for Patriots program is our way to give each home in hardship the assistance they need. Working with contacts at bases across the country, families are identified and put in touch with us. We work with these families to ensure every gift is special and that each child receives the Christmas they deserve. Last year, we were able to take on 53 families, impacting all together 231 people and this year our goal is to provide Christmas for 75 families!There many ways you can be involved this year, for more information contact Jennifer Ohman at jen.ohman (at)

  • Full Circle Home  Our service men and women are doing more than their part. They need and deserve all the care packages, love and support that we can give. But at Christmas and Mother's Day, they want to send their love back – back to their wives, fiancés, girlfriends and moms. This program is designed to let our heroes be heroes yet again, by allowing them to send their holiday gifts and a love note to their quiet hero at home. This is accomplished through the generosity and appreciation of businesses and individuals who sponsor a servicemen's gifts home.

  • Gold Star Dads 2019 Camp Hope Christmas Project ()  December 21 @ 18:30 - 21:30 $50 - Help us celebrate the joyous Christmas season with our veterans and friends at this year’s Christmas party. Each year we bring all the festive goodies to the residence at Camp Hope – PTSD Foundation. There are currently 70+ veterans on campus at Camp Hope, almost all will be there over the Christmas holiday. No one should be spending Christmas without family, that’s not acceptable. So, we are inviting our extended family of Patriots (that’s you) to join us for an evening of Christmas carols, food, presents & fun as we bring all the festive Christmas goodies to the residence and their families at Camp Hope. Come and celebrate the birth of our Savior with some of Americas most deserving young men and women.

  • Heartbeat Serving Wounded Warriors  (Washington state)  Heartbeat has several Christmas morale-building programs for wounded service members and their families. We have a program for every family member: warrior, spouse, and child. Morale building improves warriors’ health. It shows them how much we appreciate their sacrifices, and it tells them, “You aren’t alone."

  • Hearts of Patriots  Holidays can be a critical time for spouses and families of PTSD veterans ​suffering from invisible wounds of war. With young children and a veteran, unable to handle holiday crowds, many caregivers add extra shopping and planning to their To Do list hoping to make the holidays memorable for their families. While other families are out looking for that perfect gift for their wife or husband, our PTSD veterans feel overwhelmed and trapped, remaining in the safety of their homes. On Christmas morning, or during Hanukkah, it is the caregiver who often doesn't receive a gift. The goal in helping these veteran families is to show America's gratitude with a gift for the caregiver and a grocery gift card or prepaid VISA card to help them purchase their holiday dinner and trimmings. This is a wonderful way to say "Thank You" to these amazing caregivers.

  • Homefront America (Camp Pendleton, CA and surrounding military communities)  Each year, the Homefront America Christmas programs help to make the holiday a little brighter for military families. Our Christmas Toy Store offers parents of military children the opportunity to "shop" at the Toy Store at NO COST to them, while their children enjoy lunch with Santa and his Elves, arts and crafts, activities, face painting, and caroling. In addition, our volunteers fill 1000 gift bags with a dozen or more quality "fun toys" for the children to enjoy. And, with the support of our partners, Noble Viking Charities of Orange County, 150 families benefit from generous offerings of holiday food boxes. 

  • Hope for the Warriors Holiday Giving Initiative  Be a spark of HOPE this holiday season by donating to or adopting a family through our Holiday Giving Initiative. You can become Santa and help us provide gifts to brighten a military child's day. This national program is open to post-9/11 wounded or Gold Star military families that are struggling financially during the holidays. Each service member referred to the Holiday Giving Initiative has completed the Hope For The Warriors application process and have been contacted by our Critical Care team. The application process can be completed on our website. Upon referral, the families are asked to complete a wish list for each child under the age of 18. The wish lists are then provided to interested donors to fulfill.  

  • La Mesa Military Families Holiday Project (La Mesa, CA)  Join us and assist military families and children living in La Mesa Military Housing. Celebrate the strength of our community as we collect toys for these children and their families that live in La Mesa at military housing locations. We are proud to support them at this special time of year. Deadline to donate: Friday, November 29, 2019

  • Maine National Guard Family Program's Christmas Across Maine 2019 (Maine)  Christmas Across Maine is a completely confidential needs based program for currently serving Maine military members, their families, and Gold Star families. The program provides assistance for service members experiencing financial difficulties. All items are donated by the community, therefore we can only support a limited numbers of requests. Become a Sponsor today! - FMI: [email protected] or call the Maine Military Family Assistance Center 1-888-365-9287

  • Michigan Dept. of Military and Veterans Affairs Adopt a National Guard Family  (Michigan) The Michigan National Guard Adopt-A-Family Program is an opportunity for organizations and families to reach out and support a family. Adopt-A-Family Program, coordinated through the State Family Program Office in Lansing, Michigan, is seeking organizations and families interested in sponsoring a Michigan National Guard family. Families that need assistance are required to submit an application. Applications for both families and sponsors/contributors will be matched up to meet the needs of both parties. It is our policy to give the family the utmost confidentiality and a safe way to receive support. Many service members are serving overseas while their families are trying to make the best of the holiday season without them. Support may be in the form of money, food, or mentorship. Traditionally, families have received Thanksgiving and Christmas food baskets. Christmas gifts have included a clothing outfit for each family member and a few toys for each child. Organizations and businesses who would like to adopt-a-family or need more information should contact the Family Program Office at 517-481-9889 or [email protected].

  • Military Assistance Mission (Arizona)  Each year as Christmas approaches, Military Assistance Mission is contacted by benefactors who want to bring joy to the faces of our military families and wounded warriors, showing that their community cares about them. MAM’s Holidays for Heroes program facilitates the adoption of military families in need during the Christmas holiday. Our service members and their families make sacrifices for our country that are not always visible to others. Sometimes these sacrifices can be measured in hours of lost sleep spent worrying for the safety of a loved one or in the number of missed birthdays and anniversaries. All too often what is unnoticed are the myriad of other challenges and stresses these families face: Ongoing pay issues and the resulting financial hardship, the heartbreak of a child dealing with anxiety, or the trials of recovery from battlefield injury. Our mission at MAM is to provide the moral support and financial aid these families need. We could not accomplish this worthy mission without the help of our unwavering community partners. Together we see great value in creating connections between these remarkable families and the communities they live in. Military Assistance Mission is currently accepting applications of both sponsors and military or wounded warrior families interested in participating in this holiday adoption program.

  • Military Installations  Christmas holiday support at local installations may include food baskets, holiday meals, toy donation, fellowship, or entertainment. Contact the family center at your nearest installation to inquire of any opportunities for you and your family.

  • Mountain Post Santa's Workshop (Fort Carson, CO)  The mission of Mountain Post Santa's Workshop is to provide toys, books, and games for children of Military families on The Mountain Post, in financial need, during the holiday season. Many of the recipients would not be able to provide any toys for their children without the help of the wonderful supporters and donors of Santa’s Workshop. Our organization is run solely by volunteers. Volunteers work year round in order to purchase, raise funds, organize, inventory, and select families that require assistance.

  • Operation Christmas Spirit (Operation Help a Hero)  Operation Christmas Spirit is Operation Help a Hero's annual project which supports local military families in the form of holiday gratitude. Through Operation Christmas Spirit we: "adopt" over 100 families and fulfill their Christmas wish lists with gifts for all family members and gift cards to do their own shopping, sponsor gifts and crafts at unit holiday parties for military children, "adopt" single Marines and Sailors, giving them gifts and gifts cards to celebrate whether near or far from their families, and work with businesses, schools, churches, small groups and individuals who want to spread the joy of Christmas to those who serve our country.

  • Operation Homefront Holiday Meals for Military  Operation Homefront's Holiday Meals for Military primarily helps junior enlisted military families (E1-E6) celebrate the holidays by providing them with healthy fixings for a traditional holiday meal. Military families, visit this LINK to view event locations and to register for an event.​ Be sure to follow Operation Homefront on Facebook for updates regarding this event:

  • Operation Homefront and Dollar Tree Holiday Toy Drive  Looking forward to Operation Homefront's 2018 HOLIDAY TOY DRIVE as we distribute toys and gift cards to hundreds of military kids! Millions of toys were donated at Dollar Tree stores nationwide. These items and other holiday gifts were distributed, through our events and local FRGs and community events, to our most junior service members to show our Nation’s appreciation and supplement the family holiday. Military families, visit this LINK to view event locations and to register for an event.

  • Operation Once in a Lifetime Toys for Troops  The holidays are fast approaching and Operation Once in a Lifetime receives thousands of requests from active military families and military veteran families needing a little hand up and help for the holidays. These requests vary from families needing help with toys, meals and help getting home for the holidays, especially from those families stationed overseas. Help us help those that have sacrificed so much for others. You can donate online, as well as donate toys at our various drop off locations. Donations are tax deductible. For more information on how you can help, to find the nearest Toys For Troops drop off location or to donate airline miles to help fly service members home for the holidays, please email [email protected].

  • Operation Toy Soldier  Operation Toy Soldier is a nationwide initiative by Veterans Funeral Care to provide toys to the children of deployed and non-deployed soldiers, and also the children of soldiers that have just returned home. On our website, we have listed all of the participating Veterans Funeral Care affiliates will be listed along with event pictures, drop off locations, etc.

  • Operation Ward 57  Holidays can be particularly difficult for patients who are unable to leave the wards or hospital. OPW57 creates morale and spirit boosting events and gifts for patients, families and staff. With your support we have been able to provide live music directly on the ward and for outpatient families, flowers, hot catered meals, gift bags, toys, gift baskets and more throughout the year.

  • Operation Ward 57 Adopt A Wounded Warrior/Gold Star Family 2019  Our goal is to help wounded warrior military families and Gold Star families in need with Christmas and Hanukkah presents for their children, along with a grocery gift card or prepaid Visa gift card for the family to purchase their holiday dinner and trimmings. This is a great way to connect one on one with wounded warrior military families or gold star families to offer a special Thank You this holiday season by providing food and gifts. Sponsor families, businesses, organizations or individuals who sign up here will be matched with a wounded warrior or Gold Star military family to help them have a great holiday meal and presents for their children. Those eligible for adoption include U.S. Based active duty military personnel, career or medically retired military, or those honorably discharged from service who have been injured, wounded or acquired a disease during service with a 50% or higher service connection. Priority to post 9/11 service members & Gold Star families. Eligibility is also extended to the immediate family members if they are a caregiver or NMA. Post 9/11 Gold Star families are also welcome to apply.

  • Project Lifting Spirits  Soldier's Santas - Often, when a troop is wounded, the one thing they really miss being able to do is provide a gift for their own child. We will be trying to see to it that every wounded service member in our area has a gift on hand to give his/her child when they come to visit "Daddy" or "Mommy" at the hospital. We will offer this year round, so the service member has a gift for that all-important first visit with their child after returning home, for the child's birthday's and of course at Christmas.

  • Project New Hope Inc. - Operation Jeepers Christmas (Worcester, MA)  Project New Hope Inc. (PNH) “Operation Jeepers Christmas” offers an adopt-a-family program. Military & Veteran families who can show proof of need submit their wish lists to PNH and donors adopt the families by purchasing items from their wish lists for Christmas. Giving back to the families of our servicemen and women who have sacrificed so much. Lost in the busyness of the Christmas season are the children of those who serve, who sometimes wake up Christmas morning missing mom or dad and perhaps not understanding why they can’t be there. There are two ways to participate in Project New Hope Inc. Operation Jeepers Christmas:
  • 1. Donate: Donate now so we can reach as many children as possible this Christmas. Your donations are appreciated, and Project New Hope Inc. is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) organization. All gifts are tax deductible
  • 2. Adopt a Family: Make a personal connection by adopting a military or veteran family to adopt. Perhaps you can use this opportunity to teach your own children about giving and the true meaning of Christmas. Our Operation Jeepers Christmas ‘Sponsor a Family’ registration will begin on October 1, 2019.

  • San Bernardino Vet Center (San Bernardino, CA)  Free toy giveaway Saturday, December 14, 2019 from 10am - 1pm at the San Bernardino Vet Center, 356 E. Vanderbilt Way, San Bernardino, CA, 92408. Open to all branches, families of veteran and military. Each child will leave with a bag of Dollar Tree toys.

  • STEP Sharing the Joy (southern California)  STEP (Support the Enlisted Project) - The holidays are here and we want to help YOUR family. We are providing financial relief to our junior enlisted and recently discharged families during the season of giving. Last year, we were able to assist more than 200 families with their wish lists. We will be accepting applications for your wish lists starting October 15, 2019. 

  • Soldiers' Angels  Military families usually live on a very tight budget, so putting together a Christmas or other winter holiday celebration can be a real challenge for some of them—Soldiers’ Angels is already hearing from hundreds of families who could use a bit of help celebrating this year. The goal in helping these military families is to show America’s gratitude with presents for the children and a grocery gift card or prepaid Visa gift card for them to purchase their holiday dinner and trimmings.

  • Spirit of Sharing (southern California)  Spirit Of Sharing provides need based assistance to our local active duty military families (and some veterans) during the holiday season and throughout the year in emergencies. Also, if you, your group, or your organization are interested in adopting a military family for the holiday season, please contact us to coordinate your adoption.

  • 2019 Tammy S. McEver Christmas Assistance Program (Georgia National Guard)  The Georgia National Guard Military Family Support Branch is offering Christmas Assistance to those in need of a little extra help. The Christmas Assistance Program is intended to supplement families with gifts for dependent children ages 0-15. This program is made possible through the generosity of community organizations and military supporters.

  • The Joel Fund Toys for Lil Troops (North Carolina)  The Joel Fund will be collecting new and unwrapped toys for Toys For Lil Troops. These toys will go to North Carolina deployed and low-income military families. Help us give back this holiday season to those who give so much for us.

  • Toys for Tots  Since 1947 the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve program has distributed more than 452 million toys to more than 209 million children. This program is open to all children in the community, including military kids. Families can select their state from the "Request A Toy" tab to learn about how to sign up for the program.

  • **United Military Care (Marietta, GA)  Are you a military or veteran family in need of Christmas holiday assistance? Pre-register to attend the Christmas store. (awaiting 2019 info)

  • USO Your local USO may have holiday programs which may include free meals, entertainment, and toys to military families. Holiday festivities may include Thanksgiving dinner, breakfast with Santa, Christmas dinner, holiday food baskets, toy drives, food pantries, and more.

  • Veterans Center (Atlanta, GA) Saturday, December 21, 2019 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM join us as Veterans Center prepare for our biggest outreach event of the year!!! Veterans Center Christmas Celebration will help raise funds for veterans who are homeless, disabled, and those veterans who cannot afford to sustain over the holiday season while we give away toys for the holiday season. With your help, we can provide Christmas to hundreds of area kids who without your help normally wouldn't have presents under the tree. Call Veterans Center at 678-792-VETS(8387) if you are able to help us collect toys or make a donation today. With your help, we CAN make a difference to hundreds of kids.

  • Wish for our Heroes - Wish Patrol San Antonio 2019 (San Antonio, TX)  Assisting Central Texas military families during the 2019 holiday season. WISH PATROL 2019, a fun-filled evening dedicated to assisting Central Texas military families during the 2019 holiday season. The evening will include a pre-party at SWBC Corporate Headquarters in San Antonio, followed by an evening of wish-granting as supporters board buses, travel to the homes of struggling local military families, sing Christmas carols, and provide these families with the Christmas-of-a-lifetime. WHEN: Friday, December 20, 2019. Pre-Party will begin at 6:00 PM. Buses will depart at 6:45.

  • WNY Heroes, Inc (Western New York)  Adopt a Veteran Family - Help us help veterans in need have a special holiday with our Adopt-A-Family campaign in December.

Military families, are you looking for additional Christmas holiday support?
Be sure to also visit this LINK which includes a few additional opportunities. If you are struggling with financial needs, visit this LINK.

Military supporters, you may also be interested in our exhaustive listing of organizations who send CARE PACKAGES and CARDS and LETTERS to our deployed service members, wounded warrior families and veterans.


Adopt a military family during deployment

Support Military Spouses  Shoeboxes for Military Spouses, the nation's only program of its kind, offers you a way of saying thanks by providing you the opportunity to prepare a shoebox gift for a military spouse. 


Adopt a military family in need of financial help

See also this listing of agencies that offer financial support - LINK

Operation:  Care and Comfort (San Francisco Bay area and California)
Since 2005, Operation: Care and Comfort's "Adopt a Military Family" program has assisted San Francisco Bay Area and California military families for one time support. The Bay Area is one of the most expensive areas in the country to live, and many military families struggle just to purchase groceries, gasoline and other essentials.

Civilian families, companies, and organizations may ask to be on a stand by list to anonymously assist a local military family that is brought to our attention by a military liaison. If you or your organization is selected to help, the civilian family (or company or organization) will work through the military liaison to help the military family on a one time basis with their specific need.


Tips to locate local military and veteran families to support or adopt for the holidays

Each year we receive numerous requests from military supporters who would like to support or adopt a military service member or a military or veteran family from their community, especially during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. If you are unable to locate events (listed above) in your area, consider these tips:

  • If you are located near a military installation, contact a military chaplain (Battalion Chaplain in the Army) or a Family Readiness Group Leader. Some installations run a Santa's shop program in which donations are received so military families in need can "shop" for items for their family.
                   LINK to directory of military installations
                   LINK to Army family morale offices
                   LINK to Navy Fleet and Family support centers

  • Do you know of any military or veteran families personally? Ask them if they are aware of any needs. Perhaps if you ask around, you'll quickly find someone you know who knows of someone who would be encouraged by your support.

  • Pay attention to local new media to learn of opportunities to support military families.

  • Contact your local VFW, American LegionAMVETs, or DAV - LINK

  • Visit OWAH's local opportunity and service locator for state resource websites - LINK


Military supporters, you are encouraged to watch

​INDIVISIBLE is based on the extraordinary true story of Army Chaplain Darren Turner and his wife Heather. With a strong, faith-filled marriage, the Turners are ready to follow their calling: serving God, family, and country.

Fresh from seminary and basic training, Chaplain Turner and his family arrive at Fort Stewart. Yet before the Turners can even unpack their new house, Darren is deployed to Iraq. Heather is left taking care of their three young children alone … as well as serving the families of the other deployed soldiers.

Despite a desire to stay connected with their loved ones, the harsh realities of war take a daily toll over the course of the Battalion’s extended deployment. Meanwhile back home, babies are born, kids keep growing, and nerves are frayed with every late-night knock on the door.

With deeply etched battle scars, the soldiers’ long-awaited homecoming is much different than any of their families anticipated. Carrying burdens the other can’t comprehend, the Turners must decide if they’re willing to face one more battle: the fight to save their marriage.

Official website -

Visit our Military Marriage Resources - Link

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Organizations that adopt and support military & veteran families for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays

Scroll down for more information about:
  • Invite a service member into your home for Thanksgiving
  • Thanksgiving support (meals or free turkeys) for military and veteran families
  • Invite a service member into your home for Christmas
  • Christmas support for military and veteran families
  • Adopt a military family during deployment
  • Adopt a military family in need of financial help
  • Tips to locate local military and veteran families to support or "adopt" for the holidays
Copyright 2008 - 2019 Benita Koeman, Operation We Are Here.  All rights reserved.
Operation We Are Here is a HUB of RESOURCES for the military community and military supporters.
Military support is not a concept to embrace; military support is sacrificial action. Visit our military support TOOLKIT.
Organizations that adopt & support military & veteran families for Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.
Opportunities to invite a military service member into your home for Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving holiday support for military & veteran families
Christmas holiday support for military families & veteran families.
Opportunities to adopt a military family for Christmas.
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(see also - LINK)
Best of 2019


(see also - LINK)