As William Arthur Ward once said,
“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”
And if you don’t know by now, we really love to express our gratitude for our volunteers—not only during November (aka National Gratitude Month) but all year round. (Check out these blog posts.)
Instead of just highlighting a few of the many amazing BSF volunteers we’re grateful for; however, we also thought it was the perfect time to ask them what they’re thankful for when it comes to volunteering to support our nation’s military families.
Get to know these three BSF volunteers and discover the reason why they’re expressing their gratitude for the role they’ve been able to play as part of our team!
Meet Amy Holmes, BSF Volunteer in New Orleans
Amy has been volunteering for BSF for five years. She first learned about Blue Star Families when she and her family were stationed in D.C. and attended a Blue Star Books event at Ft. Belvoir. From there, she got to know several people who worked for Blue Star Families. As president of a military spouses club at the time, Amy was able to connect BSF with spouses and a spouse group in the community.
Today, she serves as an ambassador for Blue Star Families and Starbucks in New Orleans. At the time of her transition into the area, there wasn’t a BSF presence there, so she established one! Doing so has allowed her to host well-attended events at her community’s Starbucks Military Family Store, recognize veterans and Blue Star Neighbors on Veterans Day, promote our annual Military Family Lifestyle Survey, and more. We’re thankful for Amy, and her dedication to BSF!
What is Amy most thankful for when it comes to volunteering for Blue Star Families?
I am so thankful for the connections, unique opportunities, support, and appreciation I've experienced as a BSF volunteer. I've enjoyed each of the volunteer activities in which I've participated. I enjoy connecting with others in my community and love connecting and helping others. As a BSF volunteer, I am well supported and feel much appreciated. I'm thankful for Kate, Leah, Penny, and the entire team who supports our volunteers.
Meet Allyson Miller, BSF Volunteer in Los Angeles
Allyson and her family enjoyed visiting Blue Star Museums for two summers in a row and found the program to be a blessing, so much so that she decided it was time to give back. But that desire was bolstered significantly after she completed her first Military Family Lifestyle Survey in 2018 during which she had the opportunity to give feedback about what was working for her military family (and what wasn’t). From there, she recognized that BSF is an organization that is sincere in its mission to strengthen the family unit and connect it to the civilian community.
Today, she continues to serve as a volunteer with BSF because she can choose opportunities that fit her schedule and interests. From distributing t-shirts and coloring books to military children for Month of the Military Child to hosting BSF events at the local Starbucks store, blogging about museum visits, and beyond, Allyson considers herself a “perpetual megaphone” for the benefits of joining the BSF network. And we couldn’t agree more - we’re grateful for her unwavering support!
What is Allyson most thankful for when it comes to volunteering for Blue Star Families?
Everyone wants to support our service members and their families. Still, BSF takes it to the next level with consistent, effective programs and activities that reach out to families and the communities in which they live.
I am so grateful for the chance to be a small part of that support system. Sharing the mission and values of BSF with my community means I get to hear the excitement in a child's voice when he/she recounts a Blue Star Museum the family recently visited. I can see the relief wash over a new spouse's face when he/she connects with another spouse, and they trade pediatrician recommendations over a cup of coffee in a Starbucks Military Family Store.
Meet Rashaun Bennett, BSF Volunteer in Jacksonville, North Carolina
In the past, Rashaun always liked attending events offered by Blue Star Families with her children. She genuinely felt inspired to join forces with the BSF Volunteer team, however, after meeting the BSF Regional Director at a community event in Camp Pendleton, California. Rashaun’s husband was about to deploy, and they had just recently moved to the area, so she was looking for some resources for herself and her three children to keep them occupied. From there, the Bennett family enjoyed attending Blue Star Books events with Mickey and Minnie Mouse, helping out with the Yellow Ribbon Tree at Starbucks, and more.
Rashaun felt she and her family benefitted so much from BSF that she wanted to return the favor! Now, she serves as a volunteer, hosting community events and awarding local Blue Star Museums Appreciation Certificates alongside her children. We’re thankful for her efforts to connect fellow military families with their community, and share BSF resources and programs with them!
What is Rashaun most thankful for when it comes to volunteering with Blue Star Families?
I'm thankful for volunteering with BSF because it gets me out of my comfort zone and into the community. I love sharing and providing resources and helping others get involved. I'm looking forward to bringing more BSF programs to this area, and I encourage anyone who is looking to connect with your community, meet new people, or even just to get out of the house to think about joining the BSF volunteer team!
So, are you ready to join our powerhouse Volunteer team?
Click here to complete the registration form near the bottom of the page. You’ll then begin to receive monthly communications about all of the exciting opportunities near you. Or, if you live in one of our Chapter locations, a Chapter Director will reach out to you directly to discuss your interests. Military or civilian, we can’t wait to welcome you to our team of volunteers!