Ketchup Bottles and Dog Treats: Unique Ways to Give Back to the Military Community

This time of year is especially important for charities as many people channel the holiday spirit into donating to some of their favorite causes. In fact, according to Indiana University’s Center on Philanthropy, 24 percent of charitable donations were given between Thanksgiving and New Years.

If you’re in the giving spirit but still feeling the pinch of the holidays on your wallet or looking for something more involved than writing a check, check out these charities that provide the opportunity to give back to the military community in unique ways.

Give Back with Unique Charities

Get more involved than sending a check in the mail with unique charities that help you give back to the military community.


Bullets2Bandages is a start-up company that sells military inspired apparel and accessories while striving to become a socially conscious operation by donating 15 percent of all profits to military charities.

In their own words, “by hiring veterans, manufacturing locally, and donating 15 percent of its profits to veteran charities, Bullets2Bandages gives back to the people and organizations who deserve our thanks and support.”

Heinz Ketchup Supports the Military Community

The latest charitable campaign from Heinz Ketchup donated 57 cents to military charities every time a QR code on one of their bottles was scanned.

Heinz Ketchup

Earlier this year Heinz debuted their new campaign to spread recognition of the military sacrifice as well as raise 200,000 dollars for military charities. A special QR code was placed on the back of select bottles of Heinz Ketchup which can be scanned to virtually thank a veteran, and for every scan Heinz donates 57 cents to military charities. Although this campaign already reached their goal, it proves the importance of looking for unique ways to give back that may be as simple as having ketchup with your fries.

Kisses For The Troops

Every year Cosmopolitan Magazine teams up with Maybeline and the USO to put on Kisses for the Troops, an event that collects kisses on post cards and sends them to troops overseas just in time for New Year’s.  They broke the record for most kisses collected in a single day in 2009 on Veterans’ Day and have continued the event each year on November 11.

Operation Write Home

Operation Write Home brings together crafty people who work hard to create stationary to send overseas in care packages so the troops have something nice to write home on. OWH was founded in 2007 and has since grown into an organization sending tens of thousands of cards every year. This is a great way to do something hands-on and give something special to those serving overseas.

Service Dog Charities for Veterans Returning

Whether they support military dogs or the service dogs that help our veterans when they return, there are a host of charities that focus on supporting man’s best friend.

Service Dogs

If you’re looking to get involved and feel good about giving back to the military community, check out the many charities that deal with service dogs. If you’re looking for something you can get out and do, check out how dog food companies as well as pet stores are getting involved by donating millions of dollars to organizations that train and place service animals.

Whether you’re looking to get crafty and make a card or simply support the military community through your daily purchases, there are hundreds of ways to get involved that don’t require writing and mailing a check.

Images courtesy Secretary of Defense, wharman and DVIDSHUB