My son was very happy and excited when he got his acceptance into college–thank you GI!

Michael (Parent), TX

General Info and Volunteer Questions:

Who does The Gratitude Initiative serve?

The Gratitude Initiative provides educational programs and college scholarships to the children of military and veteran families. We enroll children from the families:

  • Active duty members of the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard.
  • Reserve or National Guard members who were activated for active duty service since 9/11/01 and were deployed to a combat zone.
  • A veteran who was honorably discharged from active duty on or after 9/11/2001.
  • A combat wounded or disabled veteran with a service connected injury.
  • A service member who was killed while on active duty.

When was The Gratitude Initiative (GI) founded?

GI was founded in July of 2013.

Is Gratitude Initiative a tax-exempt public charity?

Yes, The Gratitude Initiative is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit. All contributions are tax-deductible to the extent allowable by law. Learn More.

Can I volunteer or get involved to support GI’s cause?

Yes! The Gratitude Initiative’s volunteer force and local ambassadors are crucial to the success of our mission to support the children of military and veteran families across the country and in your local community.

Ways to Help:

  • Become a local GI Ambassador – You can sponsor a student in the GI College Success Academy from your local community or across the country!
  • Donate to Gratitude Initiative –Your donation of any size helps GI provide its impactful programs free of charge to the families we serve.
  • Refer a family – If you know a military or veteran family with children in grades 8th-12th, encourage them to visit our website or email us at for more information.
  • Spread the word – You can share information about GI on social media with others who might be interested in our mission.

Have another idea? If so, we would love to hear from you! Please email us at, and we will get in touch with you.

Do you share/sell my information to other organizations?

No. We will never share/sell your information. Your information will only be used in accordance with our User Policy as detailed on our web site. We will not disclose your information to a third party except to enable your use of the services available on our website and to the extent that we may be required to do so by law.

Educational Programs FAQs

Who is eligible to apply for educational programs?

Children in grades 8 through 12 (High school seniors must apply by September 15th) may apply for educational programs.

Children from the families of…

  • Active duty members of the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard.
  • Reserve or National Guard members who were activated for active duty service since 9/11/01 and were deployed to a combat zone.
  • A veteran who was honorably discharged from active duty on or after 9/11/2001.
  • A combat-wounded or disabled veteran.
  • A service member who was killed while on active duty.

How do I submit my required documents?

During the online application process, you will be asked to upload the required documentation. We also allow families to mail documentation but please note, this option will delay your submission. Click here to begin the application process.

What documentation must I submit with my application?

In addition to the short application, each family is required to submit the following:

Proof of Military Service

You must submit proof of your parent’s military service. Submit each document listed in one of the following sections that correlates to the nature of you parent’s military service.

Active Duty Service Member

  • Legible photocopy of Driver’s License (Please ensure that the copy is legible.) and one of the following:
    • Active Duty Status Report – Use the Department of Defense – Manpower Data Center website to obtain this report or
    • Statement of Service – must be on official letterhead and signed by the Adjutant, Personnel Officer, Executive
    • Officer, or Commanding Officer of the unit and dated within the last 90 days or
    • Copy of most recent PCS orders within the last six months

Current Reservist or National Guard Member

  • Legible photocopy of Driver’s License and
  • Proof of deployment to a combat zone since September 11, 2001. (DD214)


  • Legible photocopy of Driver’s License and
  • DD214 (Member-4 version)

Disabled Veteran

  • Legible photocopy of Driver’s License and
  • DD214 (Member-4 version) and
  • Letter outlining VA disability rating

Killed While on Active Duty

  • DD Form 1300 (Report of Casualty) or Certificate of death (Service Connected)

Proof of Dependency

Only one of the following documents is required.

  • Birth Certificate showing parents’ names or
  • Casualty Report (DD1300) listing dependent’s name if applicable or
  • Copy of the first two pages of your latest filed tax return showing your child as a dependent.

Student Grade Report

  • A copy of the student’s most recent full-year grade report.

Can more than one child in a family apply?

Yes, more than one student from a household can apply. Submit the application for the older child first, then complete this form, Additional Student Application, and email it to us at

Can stepchildren apply?

Yes. Please see application for appropriate documentation.

Do parents have access to the programs with their children?

Yes. Parents have access to their children’s programs and The College Success Academy has program components designed just for parents.

What are the age requirements for GI’s Educational Programs?

For the College Success Academy, students can apply as early as the 8th grade year and as late as September 15th of their senior year in high school.

Is there a cost to apply for or take part in GI’s Educational Programs?

No! There is no cost to apply or to use GI’s programs for qualified families. The cost for these programs is covered by the generous donations of GI’s supporters and patriotic citizens.

Can I access GI’s programs from anywhere? What if I’m stationed abroad or I’m moving?

Students and their parents can access GI’s College Success Academy’s programs and tools via the Internet. College advisors are available via toll-free telephone, email, and chat.

Do I need any special tools or equipment to access GI’s programs?

No. You just need access to a computer, the Internet, and a valid email address.

Are there special time requirements for the programs?

No. Programs are self-paced and designed not to interfere with a student’s normal scholastic activities.

Do you accept everyone who applies?

No. Acceptance is based on the application, supporting documentation, and available funding. Every application is reviewed in its entirety by our review committee for the student’s potential to benefit from the program.

How long will it take to find out if I’ve been accepted?

After we have received your completed application and required documentation, please allow up to 30 days for our review committee to evaluate your submission. We will contact you via email once their review is complete.

How do I get started in the program once I’ve been accepted?

After you’ve been accepted into the program, we will send the contact parent an email asking them to confirm your family’s participation by acknowledging our Service Agreement. Once we receive that confirmation, we will send an email to both the parents and the student with login information. Students must use their own username and password to access their first steps in the program.

Can I apply just for a scholarship?

Our scholarship program is available only to students who have completed the GI College Success Academy. The number of scholarships awarded each year is determined by available funds.


What percentage of my donation goes directly to support military and veteran children?

Currently, ninety-five cents of every dollar donated goes toward providing the GI College Success Academy to deserving military and veteran children. The Gratitude Initiative works extremely hard to keep the fundraising and administrative costs associated with the operation of GI as low as possible. Learn more

I'd like to sign up for a monthly gift, how do I do this?

Click here to establish a recurring gift today. It’s fast, easy, and secure.

Can I make a donation by mail?

Yes! Your charitable gift helps sustain our mission regardless of the amount. We appreciate your generosity and standing with us in supporting military children and honoring their parent’s service.

If you are more comfortable mailing a donation please complete the Donation Form by clicking here and mail it to our office:

The Gratitude Initiative
101 Vintage Dr.
Suite 100
Red Oak, TX 75154

If you have any questions, please contact us at

If I give monthly, how can I make changes to my amount or billing information?

You can make changes to your monthly giving amount or billing information at any time. Please call 979-353-1260 or email us at

When will I receive a receipt for my contribution?

You will receive an emailed receipt immediately after the donation transaction is processed.

When will I receive a tax letter summarizing all of my donations for the year?

Tax receipts are sent in January and February of the following year. For example, a 2019 tax receipt will be sent to the donor in January or February of 2020. However, if you need a copy sooner, please email us at

My company would like to make a donation. What is the process?

The Gratitude Initiative welcomes inquiries from companies who support our mission of honoring our military and veterans by educating their children and supporting military families. For more information on how your company can support GI, please contact us at

How do I establish workplace giving or matching gifts?

Many companies have programs that permit employees to donate to the charities of their choice, and match gifts made by current or retired employees, which will often double your gift to the Gratitude Initiative. Please help us by contacting your company’s human resources office to facilitate this contribution. Most companies will ask for the federal tax identification for the charity. The Federal Taxpayer ID for The Gratitude Initiative is #46-3306022 For further details please contact us at

Am I able to contribute to GI through my will, trust, or life insurance?

Absolutely! While planning for your future, you can create a personal legacy of gratitude by helping to fund the education needs of military and veteran children. Bequests are donations that are made through a will or a living trust. You can donate to the Gratitude Initiative through your estate planning by naming the GI in your will for a specific amount or a percentage share in your estate. You can also name our organization as a beneficiary of a life insurance policy or retirement account. An additional opportunity is to establish a charitable annuity on behalf of the Gratitude Initiative. Please contact us at for more information.

GI Ambassador FAQs

What is a GI Ambassador?

A GI Ambassador is a grateful citizen, local business owner, or business professional who wants an easy and tangible way to show their gratitude to the military and veteran families living in their local community or around the country by sponsoring a student in the GI College Success Academy for $1,800. Learn More

What does my sponsorship provide?

Your sponsorship provides the entire GI College Success Academy to a deserving student, providing services for the student and their parents from their time of enrollment until college graduation, up to nine years of service. Learn More

Are there different payment options for my tax-deductible sponsorship such as monthly or one-time payments?

Yes, you may make a one-time payment by check, debit, or credit card. You may make monthly automatic recurring payments by credit or debit card.

Am I able to sponsor a student I know personally or have a preference for the type of student I want to sponsor?

Yes, you have the opportunity to sponsor a student from any of the following:

  • GI’s waiting list of military and veteran families
  • Students you personally know who qualify for GI’s program
  • Qualified students who live in your local community/geographic area
  • Students who have a parent who was wounded, disabled, or killed while serving in the military
  • Students with a parent currently serving in one of the military special operations commands

GI will work with you to match a qualifying student to your sponsorship preference.

Is there someone I could talk to about becoming a GI Ambassador?

Absolutely! We would love to visit with you. Please email us at with your contact information and the best time to call you, or please feel free to call us at 972-532-9726.