Monday, March 18, 2013

Military Support Series *Blue Star Families*

Hi everyone, so glad you're here stopping by.  If you're new reader, I'm so glad you found me.  Let me know you're new so I can check out  your blog as well.  I am so very happy to be starting this series here on the blog.  Over the last year of being here in the DC Metro area I've had the pleasure of meeting some amazing people who belong to some amazing groups.  Many of them I had never heard of and didn't know they were there.  So, I decided why not use my blog to spread the word about some of these amazing people.  There are many organizations out there, some doing similiar things, some doing very unique things.  I hope to share a little bit about these organizations in the hopes that it will help someone out there.

The first organization I want to highlight is Blue Star Families.  This is an organization that I work with here locally, and one I wish that I had known about or had when we were remotely stationed with nothing around for support.

 Blue Star Families Logo


Blue Star Families was formed in December 2008 by a group of military spouses to raise the awareness of the challenges of military family life with our civilian communities and leaders. Blue Star Families includes spouses and families from all services and all walks of life, including National Guard and Reserve, as well as veterans and civilians who strongly support us. {via}

 Since its creation, Blue Star Families has worked tirelessly for the Military Community, and having been witness to some of the amazing things they have accomplished, as well as being blessed personally, I can tell you that they are living up to all kinds of expectations of what a support organization should be.  Some of the programs that they provide are the MilKidz Club, Blue Star Theaters, Books on Bases, Blue Star Museums and several new ventures including Professional Networks and Blue Star Jobs.  Here's a run-down:

MilKidz Club: a program for Military Child that provides support designed just for them, opportunities to "hang out" and participate in activities with other kids like them, special events and just some awesome fun!  MilKidz also partnered with the USO Metro to create a program called "Me and a Friend", where military children can invite a friend to special events.  You can find out more and join by visiting the MilKidz club page.

Blue Star Theaters: This is one of those cool programs that I wish I would  have known about years ago.  BSF has partnered with Theaters across the country to provide free and extremely discounted entrance to theaters   To search for information about your state visit the Military Blue Star Program page.

If you happen to be local to me, in the VA/DC area, here are some participating theaters:

Signature Theaters - Arlington, VA
Centerstage - Baltimore
Roundhouse Theater - Silver Spring

Books on Bases: Books on Bases was created by Blue Star Families to positively impact the lives of military children through the power of reading. With the generosity of partners and supporters such as Disney, BAE Systems, Sleeping Bear Press, Operation Paperback, United Concordia and Random House, Blue Star Families donates books to military children, base libraries, Department of Defense schools, military-impacted public schools, and community libraries. {via}

Blue Star Museums: This is a summer program brought to you by BSF and some amazing partners.  Many museums still offer these discounts throughout the year, but there are plans in the works for the Summer 2013 Season.  To find out more please visit the Blue Star Museums webpage.

Finally let me take a second to talk about the newests programs and ones that I have been involved with promoting personally.  In partnership with Hiring Our Heroes,  there are now hiring fairs specifically catered to Military Spouses.  I have now been to three of these, and have another one coming up next month, and they are an amazing event to be at.  These are companies and organizations who are there to support military spouses.  They know who we are and they don't care; and more importantly they want to hire us despite the negative associations - the moves, the gaps in hiring and things like that.  Blue Star Families has responded heavily to the need for employment for military spouses, and so the Hiring Toolkit (Making Volunteerism Work for You) was born.  Also recently launched is a professional network which includes Education, Health Care (including social workers) and Entreprenuers.  These are amazing networks because it gets you together with spouses that in your career field.  Maybe you're leaving Virginia and headed California and want to know what its really like out there in your chosen field.  We probably have someone that you can meet via the network!  What an amazing thing.  To find out more about the toolkit, network and the new jobs program visit BSF. 


If you have any more specific questions about any of the programs please leave me a comment or email me!  I'd be glad to help and/or point you in the right direction.  I encourage you join BSF (its free!!), find out how they can help you, maybe even get involved yourself.  Volunteering is a great way to give back to your community.

2 comments:

  1. My sister is a military wife so I wonder if she's heard about this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. please feel free to send her my way because I actually work with them. I would love to help point her the direction she might need,if she needed anything

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