11 Ways to Help Military Families
|October 17, 2011||Posted by Darcy Pattison under Military families|
You Can Help Military Families
- If Dad or Mom are deployed, send military kids their own care package. Let them know you’re thinking about them and add a card, telling them you’ll continue to think of them and pray for them.
- Ask! Ask the parent or grandparent or family member at home how you can help. Make an offer of something, like offer to babysit the kids for a weekend to give them a break, but also add that you would like to help in any way, so if this isn’t something they need or want, let you know what you can do.
- If you can afford it, give a military family you know a giftcard to help out with expenses, like for a grocery store or for Walmart or Target. Or, give a giftcard for a special treat, like to a restaurant.
- Offer to do big or small tasks the military member might have done at home. Offer to mow or trim the yard. Offer to pick up the kids from an activity. Offer to do any honey-dos, like fixing something. Offer to run errands. Ideally, offer to do something on a regular basis, like helping the kids with homework and getting them into bed the nights the military spouse takes a night class, for example. If you don’t know a military family, find out ways you can volunteer at http://serve.gov/ .
- Stay in touch. Write the family members letters and cards, letting them know you haven’t forgotten them or what they may be going through and that you are there for support. Let them know you’re thinking of their family member and of them. Besides regular mail, email them and talk on Facebook.
- Ask if military kids need school clothes or school supplies or holiday gifts. Give a giftcard or shop for specific items. Secretly contact the family’s guardian to see how you can help.
- Cook or buy some extra. Take a military family frozen meals for their freezer. Bring a bagful of groceries. Give them some canned goods, boxed meals, and add some treats. Sure, they can shop on-base, but most families would appreciate the gesture.
- Find out more about “Joining Forces”, Vice-President’s wife Dr. Jill Biden and First Lady Michelle Obama’s campaign to raise public awareness for military families and their needs. Find out ways you can send a thank you message, volunteer in your community, and other ways you might help out military families and our troops at http://joiningforces.us.org/ .
- Learn about and donate to Operation Purple, a program with summer camps for military kids and teens, national park family retreats for military families, and camps for those families with wounded service members at http://www.militaryfamily.org/our-programs/ .
- Say thank you. Express your gratitude for their family’s sacrifice for our country.
- Pray. Make a commitment to pray every single day for a particular military family. From time to time, write out your prayers and email or mail these to the family. Let them know you’re surrounding them with love.
-By Lorri Cardwell-Casey (whose family is praying every day for the safety of their cousin Joe, stationed in Afghanistan)