At the heart of every military community are volunteers who go above and beyond to make their communities a great place for military families to live. The Blue Star Families Salute to Distinction Award program recognizes the outstanding volunteers who demonstrate exemplary service to our organization and formally thanks them for furthering the Blue Star Families mission within their respective communities.

Blue Star Families is proud to announce our Salute to Distinction 2017 Volunteer of the Year:

Robin Johnson, Chapter Director in San Antonio, Texas!

Robin has been a volunteer Chapter Director for the Blue Star Families San Antonio Chapter since May of 2016. Robin is the definition of Blue Star Families – she is a veteran, a military spouse, a military mom, a professional, a community builder, a caregiver coach, and an advocate for military families everywhere, especially in her San Antonio community. She dedicates an amazing amount of time to Blue Star Families; in 2017, she received the Gold Level Presidential Volunteer Service Award, which recognizes over 500 hours of volunteer service within a calendar year.

The work that Robin does in San Antonio is incredible. In 2017, she organized and participated in 43 community engagement opportunities for military families in her community – that is close to an opportunity each week! She works with several volunteers and community partners to offer the full suite of Blue Star Families programming in San Antonio, including Books on Bases events, Blue Star Museums, Blue Star Parks, theatre programs, special events for caregivers, unique opportunities with her Starbucks partners, and the hugely successful “Stars Behind the Stripes” event honoring military spouses. Through her 2017 events, Robin and her team served nearly 12,000 military families and neighbors in her community and welcomed almost 900 new Blue Star Families members.

Robin takes a creative approach to develop meaningful community engagement opportunities for military families and neighbors. She has developed her own funding stream to support her local events by utilizing the Kohl’s Cares volunteer grants and by participating in San Antonio’s annual Big Give. San Antonio has several military installations across the city and Robin provides opportunities that speak to each of these communities while also stretching military families to engage beyond the walls of the installation. She works hard to develop meaningful partnerships and takes every opportunity she can to brief community leaders on the annual Military Family Lifestyle Survey.

Leah Love, Community Engagement and Training Manager, had this to say about Robin’s contributions:

“Robin is deeply embedded in the San Antonio community. She is always looking for ways to provide meaningful support to military families while also looking ahead at how to lay the roadwork for Blue Star Families to become a household name in San Antonio. She has nurtured community relationships and capitalized on great partnerships. When we approached a community member from another organization to present Robin with an award, she was thrilled to have the honor and was able to do so at an event where, as the presenter shared, there were so many people present who had worked with Robin in one capacity or another and understood what great value she brings to the San Antonio community. And she does this all as a volunteer! Robin’s commitment to Blue Star Families is simply astounding.”

Robin never misses the opportunity to thank the team of volunteers who work with her. When asked about her success in bringing Blue Star Families programs and resources to her community and being named the 2017 Volunteer of the Year, she simply stated: “I have a great team.” 

As the Volunteer of the Year, Robin will receive a $500 professional development stipend and will help Blue Star Families in the selection process of future Volunteers of the Year.

Congratulations, Robin! Thank you for all you do for Blue Star Families.

Do you want to learn how YOU can get involved in your community? Visit www.bluestarfam.org/volunteer.