The excitement of the three-day weekend can often distract us from remembering the reason behind celebrating Memorial Day. The Orlando community is home to many citizens who have served or currently serve in the nation’s armed forces. With Orlando’s vast number of active duty service members or veterans, there are several local organizations, both online and in-person, that strictly work to support these brave members of our community. As we take this Memorial Day to remember those who fought to protect us, there are ways we can give back and show our appreciation.
Orlando Fisher House
The Orlando VA Medical Center runs the Orlando Fisher House and focuses on providing shelter, water, and food to both veterans and active duty military. According to their website, the organization has 16 suites, all with private bedrooms and bathrooms, where families are offered a kitchen and laundry facility, dining room, and living room for no cost.
You can make donations online here or send cash and checks to the Friends of Fisher House Orlando at 10524 Moss Park Rd. Suite 204-223.
UCF Community Veterans History Project
The UCF Community Veterans History Project is a university-based organization that works to share stories of those who served. The CVHP said, “The histories of our wars will not be complete without the voices of those who were involved.” CVHP aims to preserve veterans’ digital’ and active military stories.
Cell Phones for Soldiers
Cell Phones for Soldiers is a non-profit that’s sole purpose is to provide veterans with means of communication and emergency resources at no cost. The organization “uses proceeds from donated cell phones to purchase international calling cards for troops to call home and to provide emergency funding to veterans,” according to the non-profit’s website.
The program accepts both donations and volunteers. To donate to Cell Phones for Soldiers, click here.
Team Red White & Blue
Team Red White & Blue is a non-profit organization that strives to enrich the lives of veterans and active military. The organization “exists to guide them through that journey with real-life and virtual opportunities focused on building a healthier lifestyle,” according to their website.
Building Homes for Heroes: Build Mortgage
Building Homes for Heroes is an organization that builds shelters for injured veterans. The organization’s website says its mission is to build mortgage-free, modified homes to gift to veterans. In addition to a new home, veterans and their families are provided with opportunities for support services to improve their quality of life.
There are several ways to donate, such as online, monthly, by phone or email, etc. You can choose your way to donate here. If you or someone you know is interested in volunteering, learn how to get involved here.
The American Legion Department of Florida
The American Legion Department of Florida is the nation’s largest organization that works to support veterans. According to their website, veterans and “young people who seek positive opportunities turn to the American Legion.” The organization actively assists those who achieve careers, education, healthcare, and shelter, all free.
Donations can be made through the American Legion here.
Veterans Crisis Line
The Veterans Crisis Line is a mobile resource that provides continuous support to veterans. You don’t need to be enrolled in VA benefits to receive help from the line; reach out to the organization via phone number or text.
To contact the Veterans Crisis Line, dial 988, then press one. You may also text 838255 or chat with a representative online.