Tag Archives: donate

Donor Spotlight: Crafting for a Cause

fabric-traditionsIn honor of their 25th Anniversary, FabricTraditions has chosen to commemorate their special day with the launch of a fabric collection that’s particularly significant to the people who most contributed to their success. According to the company’s co-founder, Dom Seddio, “We developed the ‘Creating New Traditions’ 100% Made-In-America line to honor our American employees, vendors and customers, as well as our military.” A percentage of fabric sales will benefit the National Military Family Association.

Seddio adds, “We chose the Association because it’s the only national organization that represents officer and enlisted families, all military branches, as well as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Public Health Service. It’s earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator for 10 years, a distinction that only 1% of U.S. charities merit. Our hope is that we can continue this program long term.”

The initial “Creating New Traditions” collection will consist of 26 new fabric prints. Subsequent collections will be introduced quarterly. Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores, the nation’s leading fabric and craft retailer with more than 800 stores in 49 states, will retail the collection and feature the fabrics in their Jo-Ann Fashion Fusion magazine. The “Creating New Traditions” collection will be easily identified in-store by custom-printed, deep blue Made-in-America board-ends.

This generous donation from Fabric Traditions brought back some wonderful memories of military life for me. My family was stationed at Andrews Air Force base for nine years. We were lucky enough to live in base housing and were blessed with wonderful neighbors. Every Tuesday night, the ladies in the neighborhood held a craft night. Some nights, only three people showed up. Other nights, we had twenty people packing the room. We all had different projects to work on – cross stitch, quilting, doll making, dough art, sweatshirt painting, and knitting. It was a lovely way to relax away from the kids, and connect with other spouses.

Every once in a while we held a special craft night, and we would all learn a new craft together. We had so much fun! We made gingerbread houses at Christmas time, learned how to ‘blow out’ real eggs to make our own keepsake Easter eggs, tea stained fabric, and painted sweatshirts.

Did you know crafting improves your health and overall quality of life? It can soothe emotions and relieve stress. You gain a sense of accomplishment and the pleasure of creating things. Trying new crafts, and being creative, promotes brain flexibility and growth. Who knew?!

Crafting also offers an escape from your every day cares and worries. It’s a low-stress way to unwind from life’s pressures and concerns while engaging in a worthwhile activity that allows for a bit of a diversion. We never realized that those few hours gave us a break from the stresses of military life – we were just having fun!

We are so happy that FabricTraditions has chosen to recognize the efforts of our Association! Military life can often be overwhelming, uncertain, and stressful, but with companies like FabricTraditions, spouses and families can find fun, creative ways to bond and enjoy this unique adventure!

Do you and your neighbors get together and do anything crafty? Share them with other military spouses in the comments section below!

anniePosted by Annie Morgan, Development and Membership Deputy Director

Donor Spotlight: Meghan Kelly, Tallahassee Magazine’s Top Singles Auction

MeghanKellySinglesOn Saturday July 20th, seventeen of Tallahassee, Florida’s most eligible bachelors and bachelorettes were auctioned off to the highest bidder as part of Tallahassee Magazine’s Top Singles of 2013 fundraiser.

The event, held in the ballroom of Hotel Duval, captivated a sold out crowd of over 250 guests. All bidding proceeds raised by each Top Single went directly to a charity of their choice.

Meghan Kelly (left), an Air Force brat of 20 years, chose the National Military Family Association as the beneficiary of her auction monies. Daughter of Lt. Col. Jean Kelly and Maj. Charles Kelly, Meghan chose our Association because she loves the support and resources our Association provides to military families.

The night of the auction, seventeen singles waited backstage, dressed to the nines. Some were excited, others were nervous. One by one, the emcee introduced the singles and the auctioneer started the bidding. Each single chose the song that would play while they were on stage; current top 40 hits, country, and rock and roll blasted as the crowd waved their bidding paddles.

Cheryl Lynn’s “Got to Be Real” began to play and Meghan walked on to the stage, waving and smiling at the crowd. After just a minute and a half on stage, Meghan was “bought” for $3,000!

The total amount of money raised for various charities that evening was $53,122.36, the most successful Tallahassee Top Singles fundraising auction to date.

Despite the challenges military families face, Meghan notes she is who she is today due to her ‘proper upbringing.’

“My parents gave my brother and me opportunities to see parts of this country many do not, we met people of all different walks of life, saw how important civic duty is, and where hard work will get you – you can only get that kind of an education if you’ve grown up as a military kid,” she said.

Meghan currently resides in Tallahassee and is the Chief Operating Officer of Lisa Miller & Associates, a government consulting firm. Her parents are retired and living in Panama City, Florida.

Want to donate to the National Military Family Association? Make your tax-deductible donation here!

anniePosted by Annie Morgan, Development and Membership Deputy Director

VLOG: A BIG ‘Thanks’ to our smallest donor, Maya!

mayas-donation-to-nmfaFive year old Maya is one of our youngest and sweetest donors! Maya heard about the struggles military children face and wanted to find a way to help them. She set up a lemonade stand along a parade route on July 4th to raise money for military children. The money Maya raised will help send the child of a deployed soldier to one of our Operation Purple® summer camps.

The uncertainty of war and the absence of a service member are stressful for the entire family. Operation Purple Camps are designed to help by giving children friends to confide in, coping skills to handle mom or dad’s absence, a break from wartime tension at home, and, of course, a ton of fun to offset the extra responsibilities in their complicated young lives.

A few weeks ago, Maya’s dad brought her to our Headquarters so she could drop off her donation in person. We gave her a tour of our office and introduced her to all the employees. She met with Chairman of the Board, Mary Scott, and presented the Association with her donation of $200.

Maya’s donation shows that you don’t have to be a big person to make a big impact. If you want to help military families, visit our website to donate.


anniePosted by Annie Morgan, Development and Membership Deputy Director

Donor Spotlight: Sons of the American Legion

ARL-662-donation-with-Chairman“Hooohah! Our first ALR ride was a doozy!!”

Those were the excited words expressed by American Legion Riders Post 662 Treasurer Kipp Halpin in an email to his fellow riders. The ALR Post 662 out of New Holland, PA hosted “Cover Our Vets with Hope,” a benefit motorcycle ride that raised $3,657 for the National Military Family Association. Eighty six motorcycles, riders, and passengers participated in the 60-mile scenic trip that toured 10 covered bridges in eastern Lancaster County.

The riders of Post 662 were so excited about their benefit and money raised, they rode their motorcycles down to the Association’s headquarters to deliver the donation in person on behalf of the American Legion. On July 24th, Kipp Halpin, Des Hoover, Tom O’Neill, Frank Usner, and Art Sheffield gathered at a local gas station in Pennsylvania at 7am and started their three hour trip south to Washington, D.C.

It was a pleasure to greet these gentlemen at the door and introduce them around the office. It is always such an honor to meet our donors in person. To be able to shake their hands and sincerely say “thank you” for a job well done was special moment. One that brought smiles to all those in the office that morning.

They proudly presented the Association’s Chairman of the Board, Mary Scott, with a check for $3,657.

“We truly live in a community that cares for it’s military families! Let’s give them big thanks!” said Halpin.


THANK YOU American Legion Riders Post 662! We appreciate your support of military families and in the words of Neil Young, “Long May You Run.”

annieBy Annie Morgan, Development and Membership Deputy Director

Tribute and Memorial Gifts

Tribute and Memorial GiftsCharitable giving can be a meaningful way to honor someone special. Tribute gifts given in honor of family and friends for retirements, birthdays, Father’s Day, or other holidays—or memorial gifts given in memory of someone special— are significant and lasting ways to show someone you care, and help military families, too.

We recently received an outpouring of love and support in memory of a very special Army spouse. Karen Chandler Clark passed away unexpectedly on May 10, 2013, her 64th birthday. The San Antonio native graduated from Texas Tech University, and while there she met her future husband, Robert T. Clark, also of San Antonio. They were married more than 40 years. Karen was a gifted educator, and taught at every level from preschool to college. She enjoyed teaching English to foreign-born wives of Soldiers, so that they could write letters to their husbands who were deployed during Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. As her husband rose through the Army ranks from Second Lieutenant to Lieutenant General, Karen served at his side with grace. She greatly enjoyed “the sisterhood”—the camaraderie of her fellow Army wives.

Retirement from the military didn’t end her service. She participated in the Military Civilian Club, a ladies’ community organization. Her life affected so many others, including all the students she taught and the countless Army wives she loved and supported. Her family asked that in lieu of flowers, family and friends make a donation in support of military families. Through the generosity of her many family and friends, Karen will continue to make an impact on military families.

Giving gifts that truly benefit the needs of others can be a wonderful way to honor the special people in your life. These gifts also allow you to emphasize important values and support the causes that are personally meaningful to you.

If you make a tribute or memorial donation to the National Military Family Association, the recipient or family will receive a letter sharing that you made a gift in his or her honor, including a special message from you, and will state how the contribution will improve the lives of military families. It’s the perfect gift for someone special!

annieBy Annie Morgan, Development and Membership Deputy Director

Happy Father’s Day: honoring the men in your life

Happy Father’s Day: honoring the men in your lifeAs Father’s Day draws near, I find myself thinking about how important the men in my life are to me. The majority of them have served in the military. My dad was in the Army, my husband in the Air Force, my oldest brother served in the Navy. My maternal grandfather was in the Navy. I couldn’t remember if my Grandpa Howard served in the military so I called my dad to find out.

Dad reminded me that his father lost an eye as a child and couldn’t enlist. He did, however, work at the naval station at Port Hueneme, California during World War II. Dad told me his brothers had all served, too. Wayne was in the Air Force in missile electronics at Cape Canaveral. Jess was an MP (military police officer) and played baseball for the Army while assigned to Fort MacArthur. Uncle Harold was in the Army infantry.

My father was assigned to the 7th Division and served in Korea from 1955-1956. He handled payroll. Back in the day, the troops were paid with military script. Dad said it looked like monopoly money and that even the coins were made of paper.

He told me one story that could have seriously impacted my life! One night while out on patrol, they encountered enemy fire. It was dark and they couldn’t see the enemy, but they had been taught to “look for the muzzle flash, point your gun to the right and shoot.” When he returned to camp later that night, he found a bullet hole through the left armpit of his field jacket. My dad is right handed, but because my Grandpa Howard only had one eye, he had taught him to shoot left handed. Dad said “If I would have shot right handed, I’d be dead and you wouldn’t be here today.” That was a story I had never heard before!

This year, I am honoring not just my Dad, but all the men in my life by making a donation to the National Military Family Association. I want to show my support of all the military families in my life, and honor their service to our country.

This Father’s Day, pay tribute to the special men in your life by making a donation in their honor. And spend a little extra time and find out more about them – you might be surprised what you learn!

Happy Father’s Day, Dad – I love you so much!!

anniePosted by Annie Morgan, Deputy Director for Development and Membership

The Veterans Charity Challenge – Help Us Win Up To $35,000

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Craigconnects, founded by Craig Newmark of craigslist, and The Rahr Foundation are teaming up to honor military families and veterans.  They’re launching The Veterans Charity Challenge and will be giving away $100,000. The National Military Family Association is competing in the challenge and we’re super excited to raise as much money as possible for our cause.

The charity that raises the most throughout the Challenge will receive $35,000. Second place gets $25,000 and third place gets $15,000. We’re out to raise as much money as possible for our cause so we can win that $35,000 donation!!

Any donation, large or small, can make all the difference. Please GO HERE and give what you can.

And, if you want to go one step further, visit our fundraising page  and click ‘Fundraise for this charity.’ In seconds, you’ll have your own fundraiser that you can share with all of your family and friends so that you can raise money for our cause too. And, please help us spread the word. If you email a list of your co-workers, family and friends and ask them to help, we can get that much closer to winning the grand prize and raising money for our cause.

Thanks so much for your support!

annie Posted by Annie Morgan, Deputy Director for Development and Membership

Ordinary people change the world

OPCTWOur friends at Wholly Guacamole® teamed up with New York Times bestselling author Brad Meltzer to honor our “Wholly Heroes” – military families. The Wholly Guacamole team sold “Ordinary People Change the World” t-shirts and donated 100% of the money raised to our Operation Purple® program; camps specifically designed for military kids with deployed parents. Their donation of $50,000 will send 100 military kids to Operation Purple® camps in 2013.

“In the past, to mark National Guacamole Day, we’ve given customers coupons for Wholly Guacamole products, and we’ve been active in the world of social media. Recently, I came across Brad Meltzer’s “Hero” video, and the message really hit home,” said Tracey Altman, Vice President of Marketing for the Wholly Guacamole brand. She explained a desire to do something a little different to mark the occasion. “The concept that ordinary people can change the world is so simple and so true. We had the idea to take this concept and use this occasion as a day for our company to give back.

“Military spouses and kids are true heroes, and we want to thank them,” stated Altman.

The t-shirt art was designed by Brad Meltzer and his team at Ordinary People Change the World. Meltzer developed the website hoping to inspire people to make a difference. The idea of creating a movement of ordinary people who can change the world one day at a time came to him after his son was born.

“‘Ordinary People Change the World’ was created because I wanted more than sports figures and movies stars to be influencers in my kids’ lives,” Meltzer said. “I wanted to show them real heroes so they could be inspired. Teaming up with the folks at the Wholly Guacamole brand is a great way to show military kids that they do matter and you don’t have to wear a cape to be a super hero.”

Many thanks to our friends at Wholly Guacamole and Mr. Meltzer for recognizing that our military families are our heroes too – Wholly Heroes!

anniePosted by Annie Morgan, Development and Membership Deputy Director at the National Military Family Association

One last holiday gift

Last chance to donate for 2012 - your gift makes a difference!The wrapping paper is torn to shreds, your relatives have departed, and you couldn’t possibly eat another ham sandwich. The holiday season may be drawing to a close, but there are still gifts left to give this year!

As you kick your feet up and breathe a sigh of relief for another successful holiday season, you can put your weight behind a great cause without risking flashbacks of long lines and crowded shopping malls. Consider supporting the military families who stand watch as their loved ones miss holiday celebrations to deploy or participate in humanitarian missions for victims of natural disasters all over the world.

In addition, today is the last day to make your gift one that gives back— December 31st is the last day to make a charitable donation to be deductible on your next tax return.

Show your appreciation for the extraordinary efforts of service members and their families by standing with them and making a donation. Give in your own name or as a tribute to the important people in your life.

maranathaPosted by Maranatha Bivens, Communications Editor at the National Military Family Association

Operation Appreciation 2012

Show military families you care at www.operationappreciation2012.com!It’s nice to be a part of something.

This year, we are proud partners with Operation Appreciation, a new, fun, and easy way to support our military families. At the time I write this, more than 38,000 people have signed Operation Appreciation’s pledge to thank military families during the holiday season. Actor Geoff Stults, along with dozens of athletes and celebrities have taken the pledge and signed on to support our cause to show military families just how much we appreciate them. Watch their messages of support here.

As the person at our Association responsible for rallying support for military families, this initiative is music to my ears. As a military spouse, the thanks are truly appreciated.

While it’s so important to recognize those in uniform, we must not forget the families that serve with them. When you consider all of the wives, husbands, kids, siblings, parents, grandparents, and aunts and uncles affected, there are millions of people with an empty seat this holiday season—at the dinner table, at a school play, on the bleachers at a game, or sitting at home with their family.

Sometimes we struggle with how to acknowledge the sacrifices of military families in a meaningful way. What will make a difference? Operation Appreciation is a great place to start. Sign the pledge, share your own story, and learn about ways you can join the Operation Appreciation movement at www.OpApp2012.com.

So, do you have a favorite of the celeb support videos? I definitely have mine!

michellePosted  by Michelle Joyner, Communications Director at the
National Military Family Association