LONG BEACH, Calif.- This holiday season, the USO, the non-profit organization founded in 1941 dedicated to strengthening America’s military service members by keeping them connected to family, home and country, throughout their service to the nation, is bringing the spirit of the holiday season to the men and women who work to protect our freedom.
The USO will send the gift of home to our troops during the holidays, providing care, comfort and connection through virtual programming, care packages and opportunities for local communities to support service members and their families around the world.
“Hundreds of thousands of service members will remain on duty this holiday season, unable to return home to visit their loved ones. Now more than ever, they need our help to bridge the distance to family, home and country,” said USO West President Bob Kurkjian. “Even the smallest gesture can make a huge difference to the men and women who serve our country around the world. The USO is proud to offer easy options for local community members to make the holidays truly special.”
A full list of USO virtual programming and give back opportunities can be found below.
- USO Wishbook The USO Wishbook is an alternative gift catalog that fuels the forces! Send a heartfelt gift to a service member, while providing critical support to help lessen the separation felt by troops and their families. Help a service member connect with their loved ones during the holidays by gifting a phone call home, a holiday meal, care package and more.
- AmazonSmile Select the USO as your charity of choice with AmazonSmile for a simple way to support the USO every time you shop. AmazonSmile will donate 0.5% of your eligible purchases, at no cost to you.
- Donate by Riding with Lyft Support the USO’s mission by donating through Lyft. When you opt in to donate on the Lyft app, select the USO as your chosen charity and your payment will automatically round up to the nearest dollar, donating the difference to the USO.
- Campaign to Connect Campaign to Connect makes it easy to send messages of thanks to service members. Send messages of support to military members as a way to boost their morale and make them smile. Kind words can go a long way.
- USO Holidays Military Virtual Programming (MVP) Series (Dec. 2 – Dec. 11) Service members and military families are invited to join livestream events with WWE superstar Mike “The Miz” and his wife, Maryse Mizanin; television personality and fashion designer Kristin Cavallari; actress Angela Kinsey; musician Jessie James Decker; and “A Christmas Story” star Peter Billingsley. Register at org/MVP.
- The USO MVP Holiday Special (Dec. 17) Tune in to USO’s Facebook and YouTube platforms for the USO MVP Holiday Special featuring virtual visits with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley; Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski; sports analyst Terry Bradshaw; and other pro-athletes engaging with service members around the world. Tony Award-winning star of stage and film Idina Menzel headlines the virtual special with a performance featuring holiday and iconic Broadway tunes. Featured holiday set decor, provided by Balsam Hill, renowned for its lifelike Christmas Trees inspired by nature, has been gifted to the USO for distribution to active-duty military and families. Visit org/MVP to learn more.
- Bob Hope USO Bob Hope USO will provide meals to hundreds of service members and their families this holiday season, as well as toy distributions to military kids on local bases. To find out how you can help donate toys to military children or support Bob Hope USO holiday efforts this year, visit uso.org.
- USO Northern California USO Northern California is helping military personnel and families during the holidays by distributing holiday baskets, stockings and meals. For more information on how to support USO Northern California this holiday season, visit uso.org.
- USO San Diego USO San Diego will offer a variety of holiday cheer this holiday season with meal distributions to families and service members in isolation this year. The USO Santa Store will serve 1,700 military children at Camp Pendleton, allowing kids to pick out gifts for their parents and receive a kids activity bag, stuffed animal, toy and candy cane. USO San Diego’s Giving Tree program aims to serve 800 military kids and will provide assistance to military families in need. To learn more about holiday giving with USO San Diego, visit uso.org.
Give today to bring home to those that miss it most during the holidays. Visit USO.org/Holidays to donate today and for other ways to give back this holiday season.
The USO continues its efforts to support service men and women and their families during the COVID-19 pandemic. Additional ongoing efforts include delivering care packages, activity kits, meal deliveries, and virtual programs for service members and their families. For additional information about the USO and how to support the USO mission, visit USO.org.
About the USO:
The USO strengthens America’s military service members by keeping them connected to family, home and country, throughout their service to the nation. At hundreds of locations worldwide, we are united in our commitment to connect our service members and their families through countless acts of caring, comfort and support. The USO is a private nonprofit organization, not a government agency. Our programs and entertainment tours are made possible by the American people, support of our corporate partners and the dedication of our volunteers and staff. To join us in this important mission, and to learn more about the USO, visit USO.org or at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram