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Walking around the SHOT Show and visiting the many great parties that went on during the week (maybe too many, old age snuck up on JDub) one of the great things that I got to see was the community involvement and charity from the firearms community. All in all, it doesn’t surprise me one bit. I’ve often found the People of the Gun to be more civic minded, and just more responsible people than disarmed America. And I’m not just talking about giving to political campaign or firearms focused lobbying organizations . . .

I hope everyone is supporting at least one gun rights organization with their money, time, or both.  This year I saw the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, the Wild Sheep Foundation, and Ducks Unlimited. I’m sure I missed more. I hope by now we’ve proven the argument that hunters are the most powerful and effective conservationists in America.
But this year I also got to spend time with some other incredible organizations, such as Veteran Outdoors, which provides veterans with hunts and outdoor adventure, as well as the Team 5 Foundation, who provide direct medical care and instruction in some of the most remote parts of the world. These are just two examples of the many volunteer organizations I got to see (and yes, both of those are truly volunteer orgs) getting love from the firearms industry and from firearms users.  H&K actually donated to the Team 5 Foundation while there at the SHOT Show.
What also impressed me was that not all of the volunteer organizations there were hunting- or firearms-related. In talking to them, it became pretty obvious that the firearms industry was a go-to target for fundraising for a lot of charities. Obviously, some spend the donations they receive better than others, but it warms my heart to know that the volunteers who do so much to help people in need around the world consider firearms companies and firearms enthusiasts as valuable donors and supporters of many different causes.
And why shouldn’t they? When I go to a gun show it seems like half the people there are volunteer fire fighters, EMT’s or reserve law enforcement. You lead by example. So, People of the Gun, I’m proud to be one of you yet again for doing your part, and probably the part of the person next to you as well.

TTAG, readers, what charities are you supporting? Are you a volunteer in your local area? What do you do to help your community and your world?

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  1. Work harder, millions on welfare are depending on you.

    A few local charities and the Salvation Army. None of which has lied to me so far. NRA-ILA and Red Cross, not so much.

    • Salvation Army is anti-gun. All their stores in South Carolina are posted “No Concealable Weapons Allowed”.
      Goodwill is also anti-gun. All their stores in South Carolina are posted.

      • I usually define “anit gun” as actively works against firearm ownership by private citizens.

        I have seen gun stores with the same signs. Gun shows too. Are they “anti gun”?

  2. Don’t forget the NRA Civil Rights Defense Fund!

    This is one of the very few organizations who will come to your aid when your firearms & civil rights are violated by any of the alphabet agencies, including ATF. If the Feds can’t easily convict you, they’ll try to bankrupt you.

    The NRA folks can be a lifesaver.

  3. Salvation Army, and my local volunteer fire dept gets a few bucks plus I bake stuff for them to sell at their fund raising bake sales.

  4. Semper Fi Fund (benefits Marines)
    RMEF, SCI, Oregon wildlife conservation, Pheasants forever.

    And I do the opposite for Ceasefire Oregon….

    • Semper Fi Fund is great and gets some of my money. They also provide support to veterans from other branches of service.

      I also support the Second Amendment Foundation and some local charities.

  5. I support the Salvation Army, the local food bank, and make regular donations to Goodwill. I don’t support any charity with money. Money is too easily wasted (see: Red Cross, United Way, Susan G Komen), so I donate goods–food, clothing, etc. that will go to someone who actually needs it.

  6. Second amendment foundation is one of the charities you can support via

    Every purchase nets a donation.

  7. My church (General fund, missions, & building fund)
    Special Olympics
    Amber Alert Fund
    Children’s Trust Fund – Michigan (State branch of national Prevent Child Abuse America)

    Also unplanned acts of charity and kindness.

  8. I wish I could financially support some good folks, sadly nelnet gets the entirety of any extra money we have, GG student loans. I used to do some special olympics volunteering, probably should think about finding a good group around here to volunteer with.

  9. I honestly cannot state my specific charity in a public forum. I will say that I have given more than 99.9% of the population — definitely in relative terms and probably in absolute terms as well. To put that in perspective: my family income qualified for reduced-price school lunches during multiple years of giving.

    I don’t say this to toot my own horn. I say it to encourage others to consider their situation and how they might be able to help others. And remember, helping others in a charitable sense doesn’t always require giving money.

  10. I started a group that tackled a beach access point where ambulances showed up a couple of dozen times a year due to injuries from people slipping on the bare-clay slope. It now has 136 “human erosion mitigation devices” — the regulations say we can’t install steps, so the railroad ties spaced nicely down the slope are actually there to keep the impact of human feet from eroding the surface — and in the last five years there’s been just one ambulance call (two high school kids decided to sprint downhill!). All the bare earth is covered, there are four dozen native trees planted, about the same number of native bushes, and about the same in native slope-holding ferns.

    With that just needing monitoring, I’m now heading up a group that is working at removing and replacing invasive species (scotch broom is so thick it’s been choking out the rabbit and even deer population), maintaining hiking trails (to keep traffic in selected areas) and improving them, stabilizing dunes by planting native trees and ground cover in selected areas, and pushing the dune line sea-ward (by various means of encouraging pioneer clumps of beach grass) towards its old position in the 1930s (before human ignorance screwed things up and caused massive landward erosion). And since coyotes attacked my canine companion out there twice now, I pack a sidearm, hoping they’ll try again and I can teach them a little lesson (the wildlife folks say if the critters will attack a dog that’s with people, they’re not far from attacking small kids).

  11. Call or email these organizations and ask how much of the funding goes to the cause. Wounded Warriors and a plethora of other orgs get less than 10% to the people they claim to support. Not for profits are often scams.

    • Wounded Warrior Project is also anti-weapon. Several years ago, I read of a group that wanted to do a fund-raiser selling knives with the WWP logo. WWP said no, they would not approve the use of their logo and wouldn’t accept funds from that effort.

      In a piece that came out last December (Tony Oliva, Bullets First) outlining the small percentage of funds that go to helping soldiers, there was a statement from Leslie Coleman that they would not allow a representative to go on Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk show, because it is “related to firearms”.

      Oy vey! I will no longer support them.

  12. New York Cares. Every Christmas we pick a few letters to Santa from underprivileged kids and head for a toy/sporting goods store. The charity picks up the gifts and handles the rest. Wish I had funds to buy more stuff for more kids. Those letters can be real tearjerkers.

  13. First reply here, long time lurker. Love the site.

    I’m involved with an organization called Airborne Angel Cadets. We send care packages to deployed troops around the world, not just to combat zones but also remote tours like Korea.

    As a Vet and someone that received these packages down range I was glad to find out that they are local to me so I got involved to pay it forward.

  14. Good to know about WW. That’s awful. I support my church,Salvation Army and 700Club. And whomever I see fit. Give and it shall be given unto you…oh yeah my local church sponsored food bank…

  15. Biggest is Safeplace, a local violence shelter, thousands a year. After that so many it is hard to recall. NRA and NRA-ILA is sort of a given, but I cannot donate to NRA-PVF, because they donate money to people who oppose freedom in areas other than guns. GOA, SAF, NARAL, Planned Parenthood, and a year or two ago, I decided to habitually overtip, normally by pretty large amounts.

  16. Disabled American Veterans (DAV)
    NRA Civil Rights Defense Fund
    USA Shooting Team
    Fisher House Foundation (Fisher Houses provide military families housing close to a loved one during hospitalization for an illness, disease or injury.)

  17. Money:
    – EFF
    – Team Rubicon
    – Occasional single-issue / single-proceeding advocacy
    – Occasional select single-event “Help someone out.”

    – Volunteering with local / regional tech startup incubators & similar
    – I’m not physically robust enough to do volunteer fire, or EMT.

    Please excuse the nom de civic duty. I don’t want to be solicited.

    /Detail on Volunteering with Incubators and Such
    Some communities have privately-supported incubators or economic development programs. Cash sponsors generally look to mobilize a multiple of their investment in other contributions, some in “in kind” contribution of services.

    I volunteer only with programs that are privately sponsored, selective, tech related & early-stage or growth oriented. The participants have to have skin in the game, usually a commitment of time & effort to the program respectful of the kind and scale of help they are getting, gratis.

    The talent that steps up you couldn’t buy for money. Truly astonishing. We easily make several times the cash sponsors’ target multiple in “in kind” donations of services. Our results are gratifying.

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