THE BLOG
12/24/2007 07:07 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Helping The Wounded During the Season of Giving

Maybe it's me, but it seems like this holiday season, everyone seems to have a television ad wishing you Happy Holidays and/or Merry Christmas. While the sentiment is certainly right, we at VoteVets.org tried to remember this is a season of giving, and there are plenty of people in need who don't gain from television commercials.

For us, this time of year, we remember that many of those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan are going through some tough times and need your help. Even though VoteVets.org tries to advocate for veterans at every turn, we can't do it alone. So rather than run an ad that promotes our own name, we felt it would be best to use our clout to talk about the fantastic veterans service organizations and charities which provide a bright spot for so many of our heroes in their moments of need. I would like to introduce you to one such group, and urge you to donate whatever you can afford, so they can continue their tremendous work.

Between now and 12 a.m. Tuesday, every dollar that comes in through this link will go directly to Operation Second Chance -- our chance to help another great group during this season of giving.

Operation Second Chance is a group that, literally, came to be because of one woman's desire to help our heroes. Cindy McGrew had a friend who was deployed to Iraq with the Stryker Brigade. After finding out a few members of the brigade were injured and heading to Walter Reed, Cindy took it upon herself to go to Walter Reed and visit troops and their families, to see how she could help. She formed some close friendships with families, and pretty soon, word got around and her visits became regular, and she connected with more troops and families who needed help.

Others found out about Cindy and joined her for her trips to Walter Reed. Together, they coordinated efforts to take care of everyday things for the families, like getting groceries and clothes, so they could spend more time with their loved ones. They brought playpens for the young children of the wounded, so parents could put their children down and tend to their injured loved ones. They directed fundraisers and donation drives to put together brown boxes of goodies and essentials, and delivered them to the wounded and their families. Operation Second Chance was born.

Today, Operation Second Chance has broadened its cause. The group's goal is to provide support for the soldiers and Marines while they are at Walter Reed and then to further assist them when they transition either back to duty or back to civilian life. Even with the larger cause, Cindy and her friends still head to Walter Reed every weekend, to personally assist the wounded and their families.

Many people rightfully wonder if they give to a charity, will that money make it to those in need of help, or go to the pockets of those in charge. Well, when you give to Operation Second Chance, 97 percent of the money you give will go directly to the wounded and their families. Operation Second Chance is a completely volunteer effort.

On behalf of all the veterans and troops, I want to wish you and your family a very healthy and happy holiday season and New Year. We at VoteVets.org are so appreciative of all the help you've given to us over the last couple of years. We look forward to keeping in touch with you this coming year and doing some exciting work. Thanks for your support, and again, please take a moment before 12am Tuesday to click here to donate to Operation Second Chance, an amazing charitable group.

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