According to the 2017 Blue Star Families Survey:

  • 40% of military families report 6+ months of separation in the last 18 months.
  • 31% of military families report they have not had an in-depth conversation with a local civilian in the past month.
  • 51% of military families report they feel they don’t belong in their local civilian community.
  • 53% of military families want greater opportunities to meet people, make friends, or expand professional networks in civilian community.
  • 71% of military families volunteered in the past year; of those, 78% volunteered in their civilian communities.

Access the full survey here.

How You and Your Community Can Support Military Families

When it comes to displaying kindness and gratitude for those who serve, why delay? Here are a few ideas that are simple, but can make a huge impact in the lives of military families. Start now by taking action yourself. Grow your impact by engaging your community to help.

Informing military families of resources

Warm Welcomes

If you manage online properties for a business, organization or a school, add a resource tab to your website. Within that section, inform new military families of resources and services in the community.

As an individual, consider asking a military family about their favorite hobbies, sporting activities and shopping habits. Help them find the appropriate resources within your community. It’s a great way to help – and to get to know the family members, too.

Lend a helping hand

Lend a Helping Hand

When a military family moves into your neighborhood, take the time to introduce yourself. Provide a meal or extend a helping hand. Most military families move to new bases alone. They have no family support in their new location. They will manage their family, the children and the move with little to no assistance.

You can be a huge help with just a few simple acts of kindness. Offer a playdate for the kids or run errands for a military spouse. Invite the family of a deployed active duty service member to share your holiday meal. Helping with little things like these will make the move into their new home less stressful.

Volunteer

Volunteer

Many organizations across the nation are dedicated to helping military families. Give your time, money or talent and volunteer with one of these organizations. You may deliver care packages to the family of a deployed service member with one group. With another you may help spread the work about an event benefiting troops and their families. Regardless, you can make a difference with whatever time and talent you can share.

Charity Navigator has compiled a list of charities they see are trustworthy, you may access it here. You may also want to search the Internet for local opportunities.

Provide Support for Children During Deployments

Provide Support for Children During Deployments

Deployments are difficult for the entire family but especially for children. Consider adopting a military family during a deployment. Check in with them periodically. Being available to watch the kids so the other parent can complete an errand is always welcome, too. Invite the spouse or children of a deployed service member to attend a community event. Or ask them to enjoy dinner out or see a movie with you. And, simply being a friend to the military spouse is a great way to show support. Any of these can be great stress relievers.

Show Appreciation and Give Thanks

Show Appreciation & Give Thanks

Every member of every military family serves our country. Showing your support and thanks is as easy as saying Thank You. If you manage or own a local business, consider offering a military discount to show your appreciation. Service members and their families will feel valued when you give thanks. All of you will be proud to be Americans!

Connect with Your Local Caliber Branch

Connect with Your Local Caliber Branch

Find a Caliber Military and Veteran Lending Professional in your area. Providing VA loans is not their only objective. Most are engaged at the local level to provide support to the military community. Each would enjoy exploring opportunities to improve military community engagement. Together, you can bring real value to military families in the area.