Many supporters would prefer to connect with a needy military family on a local level. Here are some suggestions to find local military families in need:
- 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.
- Contact your local VFW, American Legion, or AMVETs - LINK.
- Operation We Are Here also has a listing of local opportunity locators - LINK.
This listing of organizations below is another means to support a miltary family, especially during the holidays.
Are you a military family looking for Christmas holiday support? Be sure to also visit this LINK which includes additional opportunities.
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 - Giving Thanks to Heroes
Even turkeys want to do their part to help support our Troops! Every Thanksgiving, Homefront America volunteers put together more than 200 Thanksgiving food baskets for our military families to enjoy. In addition to the food baskets, families also receive a certificate that can be used to redeem for a turkey of their choice.
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 is a program established with Woman’s Day Magazine and their Readers to raise awareness and funds for military and their families during the holidays. Since 2004, Woman’s Day and their Readers have raised $ 1,585,979.68 for military and their families with the Armed Services YMCA. Together, we have been able to purchase and distribute over 1600 pallets of toys (over 320,000 toys) as well as deliver over 25,000 baskets of food at Thanksgiving and Christmas to junior enlisted families in need.
Check out Operation Holiday Joy in the November issue on Newstands October 15th.
Operation Homefront - Holiday Meals for Military
Last year, we were able to give 5,000 meals to deserving military families at 17 locations. This year our goal is to give 7500 meals in 22 locations around the country.
Since the beginning (2009) of Holiday Meals for Military our donations, distributions, and sponsors have almost doubled each year. With the help of sponsors and donations our goal is to continue growing each year until every military family can enjoy a holiday meal that they deserve.
We are honored to make the holidays a little brighter for our military families. Each holiday meal comes complete with all the fixings you need to prepare a great holiday feast... typically enough to feed a family of four.
Event is for service members who hold the rank of E-1 to E-6. Visit the website to register for an event.
- Joint Base Andrews, MD - Dec. 9
- Naval Submarine Base, Norfolk, VA - Dec. 9
- Ft. Campbell, KY - Dec. 10
- Camp LeJeune, NC - Dec. 11
- Great Lakes Naval Base, IL - Dec. 11
- Ft. Leonard Wood, MO - Dec. 12
- Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA - Dec. 13
- Camp Pendleton, CA - Dec. 14
- Wright-Patterson AFB, OH - Dec. 14
- Ft. Jackson, SC - Dec. 16
- Ft. Stewart, GA - Dec. 18
- Naval Submarine Base New London, CT - Dec. 19
- Jacksonville, FL - Dec. 19
Operation Homefront and Dollar Tree - Toy drive for military children
Operation Homefront is ready for its 2013 HOLIDAY TOY DRIVE program to distribute toys and gift cards to junior enlisted military families. If you haven't donated toys yet, visit Dollar Tree and buy some toys for military kids.
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.
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.
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.
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 2013
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 2013 holiday season marks the 7th year of our 'Adopt a Family' Christmas program.