Many supporters would prefer to connect with a needy military family on a local level. If you are located near a military installation, that might be achieved by contacting a military chaplain (Battalion Chaplain in the Army) or a Family Readiness Group Leader. Some installations run a Santa's shop program where donations are received so military families in need can "shop" for items for their family. Do you know of any military families personally? Ask them if they are aware of any needs. Perhaps if you ask around, you'll quickly find someone you know who knows of someone who would be encouraged by your support. Try contacting your local churches or schools to see if they are aware of needs. Stay in tune with your local news to learn of opportunities to support military families. Another option would be to contact your local VFW or AMVETs.
This listing of organizations below is another means to support a miltary family, especially during the holidays.
Organizations that adopt military families
Adopt A Hero for Christmas
Adopt a Hero for Christmas is a charity comprised of people who honor and support America's wounded Soldiers and their families who have sacrificed so much to protect our nation and ensure our freedom.
Our mission is to bring the joy of Christmas to our heroes and their families. We collect Christmas gifts and needed items for our wounded Soldiers and their families at the
Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. We deliver these gifts to our heroes during Christmas and we visit with them. Please help by donating an unwrapped gift for a wounded Soldier, their spouse or their children.
Full Circle Home
Our service men and women are doing more than their part. They need and deserve all the care packages, love and support that we can give. But at Christmas and Mother's Day, they want to send their love back – back to their wives, fiancés, girlfriends and moms. This program is designed to let our heroes be heroes yet again, by allowing them to send their holiday gifts and a love note to their quiet hero at home. This is accomplished through the generosity and appreciation of businesses and individuals who sponsor a servicemen's gifts home.
Homefront America - Homefront Christmas
Our sponsors never cease to amaze us with their outpouring of love and support for our military families. Their kindness and generosity go beyond the words “spirit of giving.” Their support has made it possible for us to reach out to countless military families during the holiday season with gifts and meals.
To ensure that “no child is left behind,” the organization sponsors two different programs during the holiday season. Homefront Santa and Gifts for our Little Unsung Heroes.
Homefront Santa endeavors to match sponsors to military families; and Gifts for our Little Unsung Heroes provides each registered child with unwrapped toys or gift cards. In addition, holiday meals for families are also provided.
Hugs 4 Smiles USA
When you volunteer, Hugs4SmilesUSA assigns you a deployed hero's family and/or the hero, or military personnel in need of support. You then send the hero two care packages, Packaged Hugs, each month. If the soldier's family has also been adopted, they receive one package each month.
More importantly, between the Packaged Hugs, you correspond with them as well. We hear over and over again from these troops that, believe it or not, these kind words--through email, card, or letter--mean the most. They are always touched that a total stranger is willing to reach out with kindness and generosity, when in their eyes, they are "just doing their job."
If you or a loved one is facing deployment, or are already in a deployment situation, and are seeking adoption, please contact us. You are the very reason Hugs4SmilesUSA exists. Keep in mind that we support both the deployed troops and their families as well. Let us send some Packaged Hugs to your family back home; they need something to smile about, too!
Little Patriots Embraced Family Deployment Package
The LPE Family Package was designed for our military families. It is our goal to deliver this package to each family dealing with deployment. It is our way of saying how much we love and appreciate them for their service and sacrifice. Items in our package can offer emotional and psychological support for family members. Research shows that items similar to those in our package help meet these needs for people in similar stress-related situations.
LPE Family Deployment Package contents:
- USA Patriot Bear Quilt /Wall-hanging (for the home of every military family)
- Baby Blanket (custom designed soft receiving blanket to hold each baby born in a family of our military)
- Little Patriot Bear (designed for this program and for the arms of all children in the military)
- "We Care" Magnet (holds a card with important phone numbers for assistance)
- Ink Pen (to write their loved one)
- CD (soothing and relaxing music for the family as well as returning service member)
- Adult Writing Journal (a way to express thoughts and feelings)
- Childs Writing Journal (a drawing and writing journal for children)
- Large Tote Bag (for the items)
Operation Holiday Joy (Armed Services YMCA)
Operation Holiday Joy - The holidays can be an especially trying time for the families or our service members currently deployed overseas. As hundreds of thousands of military families await their loved ones’ return, it’s our job to make their days a little brighter and their holiday season a little more joyous.
ASYMCA and Woman’s Day magazine, in partnership with the Military Channel, partner every November (Military Family Month) to sponsor Operation Holiday Joy, a national holiday drive to raise money for military families in need. All donations are used to purchase toys and holiday food baskets for military families in need. The drive has resulted in contributions totaling more than $1 million from more than 6,900 generous donors.
Operation Homefront - Holiday Meals for Military
Since 2009, Jim Beam, Operation Homefront and 30+ sponsors have helped provide over 1500 holiday meals to military families in need. Eligible families can register online to receive a Holiday Meal bag at this location. Each bag will have everything needed for a family of four to make and enjoy a holiday meal plus breakfast the next day. In addition, the bag will come with vouchers to be used for the purchase of a holiday turkey and pie.
You are eligible to receive a Holiday Meal if:
1.You are the active duty service member or the spouse of an active duty service member.
2.Your service member holds the rank of E-1 to E-6.
- Camp Pendleton, CA - Dec. 7
- Great Lakes Naval Base, IL - Dec. 11
- Ft. Campbell, KY - Dec. 12
- MacDill AFB, FL - Dec. 13
- Ft. Benning, GA - Dec. 14
- Camp LeJeune, NC - Dec. 15
- Ft. Leonard Wood, MO - Dec. 15
- Wright-Patterson AFB, OH - Dec. 15
Operation Homefront and Dollar Tree - Toy drive for military children
Operation Homefront is gearing up for its 2012 HOLIDAY TOY DRIVE program to distribute toys and gift cards to junior enlisted military families.
Last year, 7 million toys were donated at Dollar Tree stores nationwide. These items and other holiday gifts were distributed to our most junior service members to show our Nation’s appreciation and supplement the family holiday.
Project Lifting Spirits
Soldier's Santas - Often, when a troop is wounded, the one thing they really miss being able to do is provide a gift for their own child. We will be trying to see to it that every wounded service member in our area has a gift on hand to give his/her child when they come to visit "Daddy" or "Mommy" at the hospital. We will offer this year round, so the service member has a gift for that all-important first visit with their child after returning home, for the child's birthday's and of course at Christmas.
Young military families usually live on a very tight budget, so putting together a Christmas or other winter holiday celebration can be a real challenge for some of them—Soldiers’ Angels is already hearing from hundreds of families who could use a bit of help celebrating this year, and now you can step up and adopt a military family for the holidays yourself!
The goal in helping these military families is to show America’s gratitude with presents for the children and a grocery gift card or prepaid Visa gift card for them to purchase their holiday dinner and trimmings.
After you’re assigned a military family, all you have to do is pick up a gift card for dinner supplies and one present for each of the kids while you’re shopping for the kids in your own extended family. Imagine what a relief it will be to the parents, and what smiles you'll put on the faces of the kids!
Support Military Spouses
Shoeboxes for Military Spouses, the nation's only program of its kind, offers you a way of saying thanks by providing you the opportunity to prepare a shoebox gift for a military spouse.
Thank Military Families - Adopt a Family Christmas Program 2012
Many military children wake up with little to no gifts on Christmas morning because their families are struggling to make ends meet. For so many of these heroic families the holidays can be a stressful, disappointing time...especially for families of troops deployed over Christmas.
So, in addition to the care packages we send to the troops, we launched a special project to say thank you to the families of deployed service men and women for their sacrifice by helping provide Christmas gifts for their children. The 2012 holiday season marks the 6th year of our 'Adopt a Family' Christmas program.