I don’t normally discuss my weekend’s activities. Usually, it looks a bit like this: laundry, cleaning, Netflix marathon, rest, repeat. It’s rather boring, really. Sometimes, I mix it up and go out to dinner with my neighbors while my daughter hangs back with her friends. Yes, that’s the excitement of my weekend. I’m just a tired little mama by the time Friday rolls around. I admit it.
But this weekend was different. So very different. In fact, get ready for a warm and fuzzies, good vibes post, coming right at ya!
Friday, I took a personal day off from work and jumped on a plane aimed at Alexandria, VA. 14 of some of my favorite military spouses in the world convened together to make a difference. This network of rock stars come from all sides of the military community: every branch, active and reserves, prior active duty themselves. But what brings us together is one purpose: to improve the lives of military and veteran families.
I’m so proud to be a part of Military Family Advisory Network (MFAN). (Insert shameless plug here!) This group of men and women are serving to make the military community better for every family. Let me tell you what I learned about other great programs and organizations, just this weekend:
MilCents – MFAN’s own financial literacy program has helped over 15,000 families become financially savvy. I personally went through this program back in the fall, but it came back in full force this spring to include a tax module. MFAN is working to make this program evergreen – available year-round for all families to access it whenever they need it. So proud of how successful this has become!
Heroes at Home – Ellie Kay, one of our advisors, is America’s Family Financial Expert® – she is the author of seventeen books, including Heroes at Home. Now, she is on tour with the US Air Force presenting Heroes at Home Financial Event, reaching hundreds of families at each base she visits. 15 events this year alone, all helping our fellow military families achieve financial success.
USO Comfort Crew for Kids – most people know the USO for their entertainment programming or even their facilities at airports welcoming home our troops and their families. But did you know they have a whole children’s programming division aimed at helping kids cope with deployments, separations and even school issues like bullying. I had a chance to meet some of USO’s representatives this weekend who were showcasing their programs to our group. As a mom, I was so impressed how they focused on making these military kiddos more resilient and understanding of their circumstances instead of victims. You may have noticed I am an advocate for not calling our kids broken. They are strong and the USO is making them even stronger.
Make the Connection – this website is provided for Veterans and their family members to watch others like them share real stories of strength and recovery, find useful information and local mental health resources, and explore ways to show your support. This Department of Veterans Affairs program is a resource provided to not only help families connect online, but find local programs and facilities to help them reach out.
MILLIE – I am proud to be a Scout in support of the MILLIE organization – a group of military spouses standing ready to help you move. We answer questions, run errands, retrieve information and act as your eyes and ears before and after your move. It’s such a great resource for families new to areas and wanting a non-biased opinion, or just an extra pair of eyes on their property while they are away. The summer is historically one of the most popular times to PCS, and MILLIE Scouts are located throughout the country, ready to be a resource to make your move just a bit easier!
Seriously, there are so many great programs out there to get involved with, and are ready to help other military families. I know when I became a mil-spouse over thirteen years ago, I knew I was entering into a powerful network, connecting me to thousands of other families like mine. What I didn’t know, was how many like-minded people there really are, reaching out their hands and picking others up, just to keep us all moving in the right direction.
What other organizations have you recently learned about, that are doing great things for the military community? Share your thoughts below!
Lastly, let me share some good vibes with you! Don’t forget to register for my Old Spice giveaway. There’s one day left (ends 4/27)!