USO Holidays 2020

Comfort and connection during the holidays

The USO – with the help of volunteers, donors and partners – strengthens our Armed Forces by keeping them connected to family, home and country. 2020 has brought unexpected challenges, new hurdles and ever-changing needs. It has also redefined the importance of our mission. Connection is more critical than ever as we all continue to navigate a world of quarantines, isolation and social distancing.

This holiday season it is particularly important to work together as a Force Behind the Forces® to keep the military and their families connected to what they hold most dear.

It is through the gratitude and generosity of military supporters that the USO can continue to deliver care, comfort and connection and bring a little piece of home to our men and women in uniform. Donate today and see below for other ways to give this holiday season.

You can help make a difference in how our military heroes and their families celebrate the holidays.

12 Days of Gratitude

The USO will celebrate ‘12 Days of Gratitude’ December 1-12. During these first two weeks of the month we will look back at how we came together as a Force Behind the Forces® when our Armed Forces and their families needed us most throughout the year – and how we can continue to be a source of care, comfort and connection for our military during the holidays. Each day we will highlight different USO programming and recognize our community of military supporters. Follow us on social media to learn more and to join us in the '12 Days of Gratitude’. FB: /theUSO | Instagram: @theUSO | Twitter: @the_USO

Day 1: Today we kickoff ’12 Days of Gratitude’ on #GivingTuesday and we are thankful for all who help to make a difference for our service members and their families. With your support, the USO can give more than thanks to the Armed Forces. Share our Facebook fundraiser with friends and family.

Day 2: Today we focus on the USO care package program. What may seem like small items can have a big impact when it provides important necessities, reminders of home and an expression of gratitude – and USO care packages are delivered where and when a treat and a thank you are needed most. Due to COVID-19, the need for USO care packages became more important, yet we also faced new hurdles in assembly and delivery logistics. Thank you to all who helped us to continue this important part of our mission. Learn more about the USO care package program here.

Day 3: USO centers are often times the home away from home for service members and their families. Thank you to all USO teams and volunteers who serve as the heart of our organization and work around the world and around the clock to deliver support, programs and a welcoming smile that can make any day a bit brighter. Did you know that the USO has more than 250 locations around the world and that USO centers range from locations at Military Entrance Processing Stations (MEPS) to airport lounges to base installations to USO Warrior and Family Centers? The USO supports service members and their families throughout their military journey.

Day 4: Today we highlight how the USO mission goes into overdrive during the holidays – especially this year when the importance of connection has been redefined due to COVID-19 quarantines and isolation. As a grateful nation, we can serve those who serve us all and make the holidays special for the military. From Thanksgiving meal boxes, to phone calls home to virtual Santa visits, USO centers, volunteers, donors and partners are getting creative to ensure we can still bring care, comfort and connection – and holiday cheer – to the troops and their families.

Day 5: We are thankful for our Mobile USO team and for all donors and partners who help to keep the fleet fueled up and ready to hit the road and go wherever the mission takes us! From natural disasters to reaching troops undertaking missions in hard-to-reach locations, the Mobile USO team is always by their side to provide a place for troops to relax, connect with loved ones and recharge during downtime.

Day 6: A key part of keeping service members strong is keeping them connected to their families but also giving them peace of mind that their families are being cared for while they are serving missions away from home. We are thankful to all who support critical USO operations, programs and entertainment efforts, which help military families throughout their military journey. Read about one specific program, the Bob Hope Legacy Reading Program, here.

Day 7: Since World War II to today’s ongoing fight against COVID-19, the military has always stepped up to answer the call. The USO is always by their side and relies on the generous support of donors and partners to be the Force Behind the Forces®. Thank you to all military supporters for your help – when you give, we can give more than thanks and bring a little bit of home to our troops, no matter where the mission takes them. Read more about our Combat COVID-19 relief efforts here.

Day 8: Many may not realize the numerous ways in which service members and their families transition throughout the military journey. In particular, there are unique challenges when they transition out of the military and the shift from military to civilian life brings about important questions related to education, employment, financial readiness and more. The USO Pathfinder Transition Program offers one-on-one support and personalized services to connect service members and military spouses to opportunities and resources in their future communities and the next chapter in their lives. Thank you to all USO teams and partners who support USO Transitions efforts and provide resources for service members, veterans and military families throughout various points of their military service. Read about how the USO helped a veteran find employment after the military here.

Day 9: As part of our critical mission to strengthen the Armed Forces, the USO provides free meals and food programming for service members and their families. Through centers, expeditionary efforts, mobile units and support from partners and volunteers, the USO helps to alleviate the burden of hunger for our military heroes and their families and create special moments and connections to home through food. Learn more about food insecurity among the military.

Day 10: Thank you to all USO team members and military supporters who help the USO to distribute USO2GO kits around the world. These customizable kits to include everything from furniture and electronics to gaming and music equipment and there has been an increased demand during COVID-19. Learn more about our USO2GO program.

Day 11: The USO understands the importance of caring for spouses and families and offers a variety of programs that help with transitions throughout the military journey, food programming, professional development and employment, entertainment, networking and community building, and more. Thank you to all partners and donors who support the USO Military Spouse programs that connect military spouses to their social, professional and community networks.

Day 12: Entertaining the military has always been a key part of the USO mission – finding ways to bring celebrities and performances to troops and their families, no matter where they are serving. This year, the USO launched Military Virtual Programming (MVP) to continue this important tradition despite COVID-19. Check out the variety of MVP engagements the USO has hosted – and thank you to all of the actors, musicians, magicians, athletes and more who have helped to bring laughter, fun and a little bit of home to our military heroes.

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USO Holidays PSA

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Help us give our nation’s heroes a holiday to remember, despite being far away from home and loved ones. You can give back and give thanks to those who give up so much for our freedom.

Ways to Support

  1. Donate to USO Wishbook and get a symbolic gift to share with friends and loved ones that help America’s service members and their families.
  2. Create a Facebook Fundraiser for the USO. (Veterans Day on November 11 and Giving Tuesday on December 1 can serve as great times to host a fundraiser!)
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

#USOHolidays Around the World

Check out the USO MVP schedule for holiday programming and entertainment. And see below for USO Holidays activities from USO teams around the world.

USO Holidays Care Package Sponsor

Thank you to our partner for supporting 2020 USO Holidays care packages.

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Ways to Support