White House Recognizes Operation Honor Cards and 21 Million Pledged Hours of Community Service

April 13, 2012

White House Recognizes Operation Honor Cards and 21 Million Pledged Hours of Community Service

White House Recognizes Operation Honor Cards and 21 Million Pledged Hours of Community Service

“Wonderful initiative” highlighted at Joining Forces Anniversary Event

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – April 12, 2012

Washington, D.C.  — Blue Star FamiliesOperation Honor Card volunteer movement was highlighted yesterday at the White House Office of the First Lady’s Joining Forces one-year anniversary celebration. In front of a crowd of hundreds of military families, including Army General Martin E. Dempsey and his wife, and government and community leaders, First Lady Michelle Obama listed the major accomplishments of Joining Forces, including the huge success of Operation Honor Cards, calling the program a “wonderful initiative that asks Americans to honor our military families by pledging service of their own.” 

Operation Honor Cards encourages individuals and organizations across the country to honor the service of the nation’s military by pledging community service hours, as part of Joining Forces. In 2011, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden launched the Joining Forces initiative to support and honor our nation's military families with the goal of 3 million total pledged service hours.  Added the First Lady, “and today, we can announce that we’re at 21 million hours pledged -- 21 million hours pledged -- with already 30 million total hours served.”

Continued the First Lady about Operation Honor Cards at the anniversary event: “Now, that's really the story of Joining Forces.  That's what we are celebrating today. That's truly what is going on through Joining Forces.  It is the story of a wave of support that spreads across this country, and it’s reaching more communities every single day.” 

With Operation Honor Cards, Blue Star Families, in partnership with the American Red Cross, Service Nation, Points of Light Institute, and the Corporation for National & Community Service is the driving force behind this initiative to encourage Americans to perform service in honor of military families, veterans and service members.

In the coming weeks, Blue Star Families will highlight a series of organizations whose service pledges and active community service activities are examples of the exemplary commitment to local and military family communities, including organizations like the Girl Scouts of  the United States and Boy Scouts of America; the Corporation for National & Community Service, the USO, and KaBOOM; Hands on Network, Operation Gratitude, and Mission Continues.

About Operation Honor Cards

Operation Honor Cards is run cooperatively with the Department of Defense, and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has also agreed to support this initiative by sharing information related to honor cards with their Veterans Service Organizations whose members volunteer at VA’s medical centers.  Inspired by the First Lady’s campaign for military families, the program aims to create an atmosphere of ‘shared service’ and a sense of ‘all give some’ by encouraging Americans to perform service in honor of military families and veterans. 

Operation Honor Cards features a website allowing people to pledge hours of community service and track their participation at www.honorcards.org.  The website maintains a running tally of hours of community service hours committed and fulfilled in honor of military families, service members and veterans. Individuals and organizations are encouraged to join the program and may also fill out physical honor cards pledging service and download an online Operation Honor Cards kit.  The American Red Cross and Blue Star Families distribute Honor Cards to deployed service members, military families, wounded veterans and caregivers, who can then see tangible evidence of the community service performed in their honor.

Visit www.honorcards.org for more information.

About Blue Star Families

Blue Star Families (www.bluestarfam.org) is a national, nonprofit network of military families from all ranks and services, including guard and reserve, with a mission to support, connect and empower military families. In addition to morale and empowerment programs, Blue Star Families raises awareness of the challenges and strengths of military family life and works to make military life more sustainable. Membership includes military spouses, children and parents as well as service members, veterans and civilians.

About Joining Forces

Joining Forces is a national initiative created by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr Jill Biden to energize action from every sector of our society – individuals, businesses, non-profits, philanthropy and faith-based institutions – to give service members, veterans and military families the support they have earned. See www.joiningforces.gov for more information.

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Media Contact:

Stephanie Himel-Nelson

Stephanie@BlueStarFam.org

703-472-6292

AnnaMaria White

AMWhite@BlueStarFam.org

917.579.4716

PHOTO: First Lady Michelle Obama greets guests following the Joining Forces Community Challenge event on the South Lawn of the White House, April 11, 2012. The event was a celebration for military families and organization leaders who have played key roles in supporting our nation’s troops, veterans and military families over the past year. (Official White House Photo by Sonya N. Hebert)



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