Tag Archives: donate

You Can Empower Military Families on Giving Tuesday

Recovering from the hustle and bustle of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday?

Today is Giving Tuesday, a time to take a break from all the buying and shift our efforts by giving to causes that matter. As you pause to think about what’s important this holiday season, please consider giving to our nation’s military families. We are 15 years into America’s longest war. Think about how the families who sacrifice for our freedom are doing.

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Meredith, a Marine Corps spouse, knew she wanted to work in the mental health field, but battled her own obstacles getting there. “My dream was to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, but I married my Marine and we’ve moved 6 times in the last 11 years, so the mobile lifestyle made it really difficult to achieve that dream.”

With constant moves, military spouses working to enter the mental health field often feel they’re taking one step forward and two steps back in the journey.

“There are many times throughout my husband’s career that I’ve felt my dreams and goals have been modified, adjusted, and even compromised,” Meredith shared, “I wish the Military Spouse Mental Health Profession Network and NMFA scholarships had been around when I went through grad school.”

Your tax-deductible donation to NMFA allows us to better the mental health of our nation’s families in multiple ways, including scholarships for military spouses entering the mental health field.

In 2015, nearly 10% of military spouses who applied for NMFA scholarships were entering the mental health field. Of those, 20% are spouses of wounded or fallen service members.

Your generosity is why NMFA continues to empower and strengthen our military families.

Because of you, their sacrifices won’t go unnoticed.

DONATE NOW

shannonPosted by Shannon Prentice, Content Development Manager

One Man’s 12,000 Mile Bike Ride for Military Families

With the national monuments as his backdrop, Brian D’Apice took his year-long journey, and his message, to Washington this week.

“The Appalachians are steep, but the Rockies are tall.”

Brian has been riding his bike around America—literally AROUND the entire United States—to raise money and awareness for something close to his heart: military families and kids.

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Brian joined the Army after high school and was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division. He did two tours in Iraq, including 15 months in Baghdad.

“I was lucky to be single, but I saw [my fellow soldiers] struggle,” Brian said. “They had really hard times with their spouses and their kids, especially when they were coming home and adjusting back to life with their families.”

Brian is single himself, but jokes that Siri (iPhone’s virtual companion) is his girlfriend. Siri helped him navigate rough terrains, find places to stay, and contact potential donors and schools along the way.

His three-part message is simple, yet powerful: Appreciation, Purpose, and Mission.

“We are so lucky to be in this country. Living overseas infused my passion and appreciation for America. My purpose is to help others and I want to let people—especially kids—know you can do anything you put your mind to.”

How does someone even come up with the idea to ride a bike around the U.S.?

“I just woke up one day and decided this is what I wanted to do—so I did it.”  If you met Brian in person, you’d understand. He’s full of energy and passion, lights up a room with his enthusiasm and immediately makes you feel like his new best friend—which made sleeping on strangers’ couches a little easier.

“I was in upstate New York and I parked my bike and knocked on this random door and asked if I could camp under her pine trees. This 80 year old woman looked at me and said ‘Are you kidding? It’s cold outside. Come on in!’”

NMFA Group Shot

Brian has traveled nearly 12,000 miles since May 4, 2015 and will end his journey April 30 right where it began, in Times Square. That means he’s 94% of the way there!

Brian is a self-proclaimed Excel spreadsheet-junkie who tracks everything. Like, he…

  • Travels about 70 miles a day
  • Eats a tenth of a pound of peanut butter per day
  • Crosses a state line every 10.5 days
  • Spends about $12.50/day on food and housing
  • Rides his bike for 23.7 hours a week and spends the rest of his time making connections, speaking to schools and donors, and keeping up with his social media following

You can cheer him on at BicycleAroundAmerica.com.

Brian has already raised more than $40,000 for the National Military Family Association and Pencils for Promise. What’s next?

“There might be a book someday. Or I might take one of the suggestions I got from the kids and go swim around America next time.”

He’s kidding… but with Brian, you never know.

besa_2016Posted by Besa Pinchotti, Communications Director

6 Ways Civilians Can Help Military Families

You’re probably reading this because the title spoke to you. Maybe you have a desire to give back to a community that has given so much already? Or perhaps you want to see if you’ve ever done any of these things?

Whatever the case, you’re here. And that’s awesome. It’s extremely important that we continue to remember our nation is at war. We’re in our 15th year of war, actually. Fifteen years.

In that time, a child could complete a high school diploma and an Associate’s degree. Since the start of this war in 2001, we could have potentially seen four different Presidents elected in 15 years. We’ve watched the United States compete in seven Olympic Games, cast our votes to crown 14 American Idols, and some of us have remained loyal fans through 30 seasons of Survivor.

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And through those 15 years, military families have continued to sacrifice while their loved ones serve and protect our freedom to see all of those amazing things happen.

As members of this country, we owe a great deal to the men and women who fearlessly defend, but we must not forget that military families serve, too.

If you’ve sent care packages to deployed service members, or run 5K races to honor the fallen, you’ve answered the important question, “What are you doing to serve others?”

But let me ask you this: what small token of ‘thanks’ could you do for military families? How can you show the children of deployed parents that they’re brave, too? Is there a simple way to encourage a military spouse in your life?

Serving others, in any capacity, is invaluable. But sometimes it’s hard to figure out where to start.

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We’ve got you covered. Here are 6 ways any person can support and serve military families:

  1. Support NMFA through concession stand purchases at a game
  2. Sponsor a toy or supply collection to support our military kids at camp
  3. Ask your employer to host a Casual Friday/Dress Down day event at work
  4. If you own a business, commit to hire a military spouse
  5. Spread the word on social media with pictures and videos of fundraisers that benefit military families
  6. Help organize a community welcome home ceremony for returning military members

If any of these simple ideas sound like something you want to do within your own community, let NMFA help you get started! We’ve got a few other ideas and ways you, your employer, or anyone else can make a difference in the lives of military families.

Donations are wonderful, too. It’s how NMFA continues to do the work we do. But sometimes, what’s more valuable than the donation is the person who gave it. You can add value to the military community. They need your support. Give time. Change lives. Together we’re stronger.

shannonPosted by Shannon Prentice, Content Development Manager

Pass the Torch: Put Your Black Friday Savings to Good Use This #GivingTuesday

You’ve downloaded the shopping apps, checked the sale papers, and even sat outside the toy store waiting to buy the coveted gift of 2015. You know how much it costs and where the best place is to buy it. But have you given as much thought to this year’s charitable donations?

Today is Giving Tuesday—a day where Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers are encouraged to share the holiday spirit by giving back to their communities and the organizations that support them. We know you work hard for your money, and you make careful choices when it comes to spending. We have found an option we think you’ll be pleased with.

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Your donation to the National Military Family Association makes a huge impact.

Last year, NMFA sent more than 3,000 military family members to our Operation Purple® Programs, and awarded more than $500,000 in scholarships and professional support to military spouses and caregivers through our Spouse Scholarship Program.

How does your gift make a difference?

$30 will provide that military child a full day of meals at Operation Purple Camp.

$100 sends one military kid to an Operation Purple Camp, where they don’t have to worry about the stressors of military life while they enjoy a summer-camp atmosphere with other military kids.

$500 provides the funds for a military spouse to obtain a certification and, ultimately, a job to help provide a stable financial foundation for their family.

$1,500 allows a military family of three to attend an Operation Purple Family Retreat or Operation Purple Healing Adventures camp, where they can reconnect, create new memories, and learn skills to overcome the obstacles military families face.

$2,500 covers a semester of college for that military spouse, helping them achieve their goal of higher education and a coveted degree.

For 46 years, military families have depended on NMFA. Now they’re depending on you. Why not use those Black Friday savings to make a noticeable difference for our nation’s families?

Donate now and watch your dollars do amazing things.

Together we’re stronger.

shannonPosted by Shannon Prentice, Content Development Manager

Behind the Front Door: Help Military Families This Holiday Season

With the holiday season around the corner, we know families are coming together, creating cozy, love-filled, homes to celebrate. Behind every front door are stories and traditions passed from year to year. For military families, the traditions and stories sometimes don’t include every member of the family.

Only 1% of the nation serves in the military. Since September 11, 2001, more than 3 million service members have deployed in response to the war on terrorism. That means 1.8 million family members were left behind to continue their holiday traditions without their loved one. More than 2 million children had a parent miss out on making special holiday memories.

This holiday season, you have the opportunity to help military families continue their traditions together.

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Through generous donations, our Association is able to continue our mission to empower, strengthen, and heal our nation’s military families through programs designed to help them overcome obstacles together.

For $1,500, we are able to send a family of 3 to an Operation Purple Family Retreat® or Operation Purple Healing Adventure® camp, where they can connect and make new memories in a wilderness camp setting. And with a $30 donation, we can give a family member a full day of meals at camp.

But your donation doesn’t have to stop there. A $50 donation can provide a college or graduate-level textbook to a military spouse, furthering his or her education. With that education, he or she can build a stable and strong financial foundation for their family, and enjoy each holiday without the stress of wondering how they’ll afford gifts.

You have the chance to change the way a military family creates new traditions and memories for themselves. And we need your help. Our Association relies on the generosity of donors, like you, who want to make a difference, and who stand firmly behind the ones who serve in the silent ranks.

Military families need you. Please donate today.

Celebrate Your Freedom by Standing Behind Military Families!

military-kids-raising-flagOnly a few more days until we celebrate the birth of our great nation, and the smell of bar-b-que, fireworks, and sunscreen will fill the air. The Star Spangled Banner will play loudly, and we’ll take a minute to remember the price of freedom.

But is a minute enough?

While most of us will be enjoying a long holiday weekend, we ask you to show your support of those military families who will spent, yet another, holiday apart. An easy, quick way to show you support is by helping us on our quest to win $25,000 through the Crowdrise Veterans Charity Challenge 3!

With just a few clicks, a few dollars, and a few pats on your back for being awesome, you’ll help us in two ways:

1. Now through July 2, Crowdrise will give an additional $20 for the first 100 donations of at least $20! Free money?! Awesome!

2. You’ll become one of the selfless military family supporters who keep NMFA’s  mission alive by continuing to serve the ones who stand behind the uniform.

We hope your holiday weekend is relaxing, and filled with joy and fellowship. Please take a few minutes and clicks to help fill a military family’s life with those same things.

Donate to the National Military Family Association’s via Crowdrise.

shannonPosted by Shannon Prentice, Content Development Manager

‘Tis the Season of Giving: Help Give Military Families Hope

While this holiday season is just a few weeks long, for military families, the giving is year round. They give up time with their loved one, special moments with their children, and spend holidays away from their own families. And some are struggling.

The transition home has not been equally kind to all our military families. And when things are not going well, the holidays can accentuate the difficulties.

But you and I can give them hope this holiday season. Through our unique and powerful Operation Purple® programs we can give them what they hope for.

They hope to make up lost time with their children.

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 They hope for an even stronger relationship with their spouse.

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They hope for peace on Earth, so others will not face the sacrifices they have.

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Military families have done so much for us, please help us give them new hope for their own future.