veterans http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/10033/all en-US 8 Charities You Can Trust With Your Holiday Donations http://www.wisebread.com/8-charities-you-can-trust-with-your-holiday-donations <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-charities-you-can-trust-with-your-holiday-donations" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/girl_cuddling_dog_485251750.jpg" alt="Girl finding charities she can trust with holiday donations" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>'Tis the season for giving, and giving to charity is the perfect way to help those in need while also helping yourself to a tax break. But how do you know which charities are the best? There are thousands of great charities out there doing amazing things with donated money, but there are also shady charities that are just out to get your money.</p> <p>Here we have collected some of the highest rated charities according to Consumer Reports and Charity Navigator. Whether you are an animal lover or want to help countries in need, there is a charity supporting that cause. Don't see a charity for you on the list? Check out Consumer Reports' full list of the <a href="http://www.consumerreports.org/charitable-donations/best-and-worst-charities-for-your-donations/">highest and lowest rated charities</a> in each category. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-that-give-back-to-charity?ref=seealso">Best Credit Cards That Give Back to Charity</a>)</p> <h2>For Animal Lovers</h2> <p>Our furry friends need our help!</p> <h2>1. World Wildlife Fund</h2> <p>The <a href="http://gifts.worldwildlife.org/gift-center/gifts/Species-Adoptions.aspx">World Wildlife Fund</a> (WWF) allows animal lovers to donate money to help species of wild animals. A $55 donation allows you to help wildlife while also earning you a small animal plush of your choice, photo, adoption of certification, species card, and gift bag. This charity is a fun one if you are looking to give a donation in lieu of a gift, since the WWF donation comes with a little gift.</p> <h3>2. Petsmart Charities</h3> <p><a href="https://www.petsmartcharities.org/">Petsmart Charities</a> is very upfront with how they use donations to make an impact in pets' lives. The site says they save 400,000 pets each year. In 2015, more than $29 million went to animal welfare groups and 214,000 spay/neuter surgeries were performed. They also used 90 cents of every dollar donated to help pets directly. Individuals can donate money or volunteer with Petsmart Charities.</p> <h2>For Environment Protectors</h2> <p>Because the Earth needs us to protect it.</p> <h3>3. Amazon Conservation Association</h3> <p>The <a href="http://www.amazonconservation.org/index.html">Amazon Conservation Association</a> received a perfect score through Charity Navigator, a website devoted to helping individuals find legitimate charities and avoid inefficient charities. The charity has been around for over 15 years and conserves the Amazon. The site says a $50 donation can plant about 50 trees in a highland Andean community.</p> <h2>For Helping People in Need</h2> <p>Not everyone has a roof over their head or enough food to eat.&nbsp;</p> <h3>4. Direct Relief</h3> <p><a href="https://www.directrelief.org/">Direct Relief</a> is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that seeks to help and improve the lives of those affected by poverty and emergency situations. It has been one of the top charities to help with Hurricane Matthew and Syrian refugees. It has been voted as a top charity by Forbes, Fast Company, and BBB. Direct Relief also has an option to donate in tribute to someone else, which is practical for holiday gift giving.</p> <h3>5. Compassion International</h3> <p>One of my favorite organizations to donate to is <a href="http://www.compassion.com/sponsor_a_child/default.htm?gclid=Cj0KEQiAm-CyBRDx65nBhcmVtbIBEiQA7zm8lRk2gj1H17ly97aBsssWbO5UF3DRbLoyRtZ4RqApvx8aAnvM8P8HAQ">Compassion International</a> because you are able to sponsor a child. Not only do you get to choose the child you sponsor and send money to, but you also can send letters, pictures, and small gifts to them. In return, you will be given a picture of the child, as well as updates, and sometimes thank you letters. Many donors have even had the opportunity to go and meet their sponsored child. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-give-to-charity-that-fit-a-holiday-budget?ref=seealso">15 Ways to Give to Charity That Fit a Holiday Budget</a>)</p> <h2>For Health Advancement</h2> <p>A cure is out there. We just need to give scientists the chance to find it.</p> <h3>6. Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research</h3> <p>The <a href="https://www.michaeljfox.org/">Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research</a> goal is to eliminate Parkinson's disease. Over $87 million went straight to research programs in 2015. Overall the foundation has funded more than $650 million to find a cure.</p> <h2>For Veteran Support</h2> <p>After protecting our freedom, our veterans should have everything they need.</p> <h3>7. Homes for Our Troops</h3> <p><a href="https://www.hfotusa.org/">Homes For Our Troops</a> (HFOT) is a privately funded 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that builds mortgage-free homes for severely injured veterans. Since 2004, HFOT has spent 90 cents for every dollar donated on veterans. The organization has already built 226 homes and has another 80 projects underway nationwide.</p> <h3>8. Operation Homefront</h3> <p><a href="http://www.operationhomefront.net/">Operation Homefront</a> matches specific veterans needs with donors. Donors can donate money or in-kind gifts, such as services or items. Operation Homefront accepts donated in-kind services to include, but not limited to, legal support, automotive repair, heating and air conditioning services, roofing, and accounting services. Donated goods may be items such as gift cards, household items, children's books, furniture, computers, or any other non-monetary items that are new or like new.</p> <h2>How to Avoid a Charity Scam</h2> <p>There are several more amazing charities out there, so don't think that this list is the end all, be all. However, it is important that you know <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-spot-a-charity-scam-from-a-mile-away?ref=internal">how to spot a charity scam</a>. Here are some quick tips to keep in mind:</p> <ul> <li>Charities should be upfront with what they are using the funds for.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Charities should have a federal tax ID number so you can write off your donations.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>It's a huge red flag if they are pushing you for donations or ask you to wire the money.</li> </ul> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-charities-you-can-trust-with-your-holiday-donations">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-spot-a-charity-scam-from-a-mile-away">How to Spot a Charity Scam From a Mile Away</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-give-back-on-givingtuesday-without-breaking-the-bank">10 Ways to Give Back on #GivingTuesday Without Breaking the Bank</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-give-to-charity-that-fit-a-holiday-budget">15 Ways to Give to Charity That Fit a Holiday Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/improve-your-giving-with-5-smart-charity-tricks">Improve Your Giving With 5 Smart Charity Tricks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-greed-is-keeping-you-poor">6 Ways Greed Is Keeping You Poor</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living animals charity donating environment Giving Back Holidays nonprofits veterans Fri, 09 Dec 2016 11:00:15 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1849996 at http://www.wisebread.com VA Home Loan Benefits and Myths http://www.wisebread.com/va-home-loan-benefits-and-myths <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/va-home-loan-benefits-and-myths" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/smiling_military_couple2.jpg" alt="Smiling National Guard Couple" title="Smiling National Guard Couple" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="155" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Veterans Affairs (VA) home loans let military service members finance the purchases of their primary residences without down payments. Qualification for a VA loan is just one of the many perks of military service, but often, eligible applicants aren't aware of the loans or don't fully understand the benefits they offer. According to the government's own research from 2009, nearly 20% of eligible service members weren't aware that they qualified for a VA home loan. What's more, of the 24 million veterans alive in 2009, only 10% of them had ever taken advantage of this benefit.</p> <h2>VA Home Loan Myths</h2> <p>Since our homes are typically our largest purchases and potentially our largest assets, it's important for eligible service members to know all the tools and resources they can leverage. Let's start by dispelling a few myths. (See also: <a title="The 7-Year Mortgage: Take It or Leave It?" href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-year-mortgage-take-it-or-leave-it">The 7-Year Mortgage: Take It or Leave It?</a>)</p> <h3>1. A VA loan benefit may only be used once.</h3> <p>On the contrary, the benefit is reusable and service members can qualify for another VA loan once the original is paid off.</p> <h3>2. The home must be purchased in the veteran's name alone.</h3> <p>Not true. A home purchased using a VA loan may be held in both the service member's name and the name of his/her <a title="Married to the Military: Five Freebies for New Spouses to be Aware Of" href="http://www.wisebread.com/married-to-the-military-five-freebies-for-new-spouses-to-be-aware-of">spouse</a>.</p> <h3>3. VA home loans are only available to active service members.</h3> <p>Wrong again. Retired or discharged service members may also qualify based upon length of service and type of discharge received. Whether active or non-active, applicants must obtain a Certificate of Eligibility &mdash; the first step in determining qualification for the loan.</p> <h3>4. Reservists don't qualify for VA home loans.</h3> <p>Not necessarily. Eligibility extends to any service member who has successfully completed a total of six years in the Selected Reserves or the National Guard and received an honorable discharge. Service members with less than six years of service may still be eligible if discharged due to a service-related injury or disability.</p> <h3>5. VA loans can only be used for single-family, detached homes.</h3> <p>Nope. VA loans can be used to buy a condo, town home, or manufactured home.</p> <h2>VA Home Loan Benefits</h2> <p>So now that we've gotten the myths out the way, let's explore some of the benefits that VA loans offer. In our current upside-down real estate market with some homeowners just treading water and a whole new crop of jittery buyers, these benefits just might make all the difference.</p> <ul> <li>A VA home loan typically allows qualified buyers to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-a-home-without-a-20-down-payment">purchase a home with no down payment</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>A VA loan does not require borrowers to pay PMI (Property Mortgage Insurance) premiums.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The loan puts limits on the amount of closing costs that buyers are required to pay.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>A VA loan provides a home inspection at no cost to the buyer.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>A VA loan provides periodic construction inspections for homes that are being built and requires the builder to provide the buyer a one-year home warranty.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>A VA loan allows buyers to pay off their loans early, without pre-payment penalties.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The Veteran's Administration provides personal loan servicing, which includes financial counseling for borrowers experiencing temporary financial hardship.</li> </ul> <p>Whether you're fresh out of the service and looking to leverage your VA home loan benefit for the first time or using it for the fourth time, it's important to separate fact from fiction. While I've covered some of the highlights here, more specific guidelines on eligibility, benefits, and the application process are available. Check out this <a href="http://www.militaryvaloan.com/fact_sheet.htm" title="VA home loan fact sheet">VA home loan fact sheet</a> to learn more about making the most of this benefit.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/va-home-loan-benefits-and-myths">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/surprise-theres-a-gender-gap-in-mortgages-too">Surprise! There&#039;s a Gender Gap in Mortgages, Too</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-it-safe-to-re-finance-your-home-close-to-retirement">Is it Safe to Re-Finance Your Home Close to Retirement?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-freddie-mac-and-fannie-mae">Everything You Need to Know About Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-hidden-dangers-of-refinancing-your-mortgage">3 Hidden Dangers of Refinancing Your Mortgage</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-reduce-mortgage-closing-costs">8 Ways to Reduce Mortgage Closing Costs</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing home loans support resources for military families veterans Fri, 19 Aug 2011 10:24:15 +0000 Kentin Waits 664545 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Reasons Why Veterans Make Great Employees http://www.wisebread.com/10-reasons-why-veterans-make-great-emloyees <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-reasons-why-veterans-make-great-emloyees" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/100_0021.JPG" alt="Korean War Veterans National Memorial" title="Korean War Veterans National Memorial" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Over the past few years, I have had the privilege of working with military veterans and active duty personnel who anticipate, are in the process, or have already transitioned to the civilian world. Some job descriptions line up with their military credentials: a helicopter pilot making evacuations in Baghdad might find similar work with a law enforcement agency stateside; ditto for a technician who is searching for a mechanic’s position. But others may have incredibly valuable skills that aren’t recognized in the private sector. And, like many job seekers, the language of their current or most recent employers may be misinterpreted by those who screen candidates and make hiring decisions. Based on my experiences with military personnel, here are attributes that veterans often have and that make them great employees. </p> <p><strong>1) Understanding that actions and behaviors reflect on the organization</strong><br />Military personnel, like other public servants, are always under scrutiny whether on a mission, back at the base, or on leave. They seem to understand that everything they do and say reflects on the integrity and reputation of the organization. </p> <p><strong>2) Cross-cultural skills</strong><br />Our military personnel have the opportunity to interact with people of many countries. They might supervise local contract employees on base, conduct medical evacuations, or provide resources in humanitarian missions. Our veterans also have had the opportunity to work alongside others from all over the United States, providing them with knowledge of diverse cultures within our own country.  </p> <p><strong>3) Innovation</strong><br />I get the impression that many hiring managers may not always grasp that veterans may actually be more, rather than less, innovative in their thinking than non-veterans. Just as in the private sector, there are many opportunities for improving processes and results. In some cases, being in the field requires adapting to uncertain or changing circumstances, not being able to receive assistance from back-up teams, which further develops innovative thinking. </p> <p><strong>4) Ability to create something where nothing existed before</strong><br />It took a while for one of my clients to explain to me what implementing “life support” systems in a previously undeveloped area meant. I finally realized that he directed the development of an infrastructure to house, feed, and take care of the basic needs of thousands of people. And, at some point, I understood that his logistical skills consisted not only of accessing supply chain resources but, more significantly, creating the supply chain.  </p> <p><strong>5) Presentation skills</strong> <br />Many veterans, especially those who became officers, have excellent presentation skills. Some have fielded inquiries from Congressional representatives; others have spoken before senior executives (such as a Four-Star General). Delivering accurate information and being clear in meaning are both critical.</p> <p><strong>6) Quick Thinking<br /></strong>Missions and field exercises require leaders to quickly analyze situations, continuously process new and changing information, and make sound decisions. They have often received training on certain techniques, such as maneuvering a helicopter in a dust storm with no visibility, but real-world scenarios with life-or-death consequences can help hone focused thinking aligned with quick action under pressure. </p> <p><strong>7) Desire to re-use and recycle<br /></strong>More than one of my clients has mentioned that he or she was able to conserve resources by sharing inventory (equipment, supplies) with other facilities. In one case, he redistributed parts to sites worldwide; in another, she claimed serviceable but unneeded equipment from a nearby site.  </p> <p><strong>8) Preparedness and flexibility</strong><br />Readiness for deployments or impromptu operations plays a central role in many military job descriptions. Making sure that equipment is operating correctly and that supplies are ready allows responsiveness to organizational needs. And, understanding that uncertainty is the norm yields flexible employees. </p> <p><strong>9) Insight into how their actions impact other people</strong><br />Doing a good job doesn’t mean just getting a good performance review, it means that fellow soldiers are as safe as possible and that critical missions are successful: the cargo plane with military troops is loaded properly; the helicopter that is transporting the critically wounded will respond to pilot controls, etc.</p> <p><strong>10) Demonstrated commitment to the greater good</strong> <br />Our veterans have shown that they have put themselves in danger to protect our freedom. Being able to sacrifice personal reward for greater, collective good is often a valuable asset. </p> <p>There are even more skills, such as project management, purchasing, and team leadership skills, that our veterans possess. I have listed 10 that made the deepest impression on me.  </p> <p><em>Note: I have provided résumé services for veterans and learned about their roles through discussions of their job duties. I am not a veteran.</em> </p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-reasons-why-veterans-make-great-emloyees">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-resume-mistakes-that-will-hurt-your-job-search">10 Resume Mistakes That Will Hurt Your Job Search</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-glassdoor-to-earn-more-money">How to Use Glassdoor to Earn More Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-dream-jobs-youre-never-too-old-to-pursue">9 Dream Jobs You&#039;re Never Too Old to Pursue</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-not-to-answer-10-of-the-most-common-interview-questions">How NOT TO Answer 10 of the Most Common Interview Questions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-high-paying-jobs-that-didnt-exist-10-years-ago">9 High-Paying Jobs That Didn&#039;t Exist 10 Years Ago</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building hiring job search military military-to-civilian transitions veterans Tue, 11 Nov 2008 20:02:47 +0000 Julie Rains 2579 at http://www.wisebread.com