December 16, 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 16, 2019
Blue Star Families: Jusika Martinez, [email protected]
Discover: Media Relations, (240) 405-1747, [email protected]
Salt Lake City, Utah — Blue Star Families, Discover Financial Services, Adobe, Zions Bank, and Operation Homefront have come together to host the inaugural “City Sights & Holiday Lights” holiday party on Friday, December 20, 2019, from 6 – 8:30 p.m. The focus of this event is to provide active duty service members, veterans, and their families an evening of fun and holiday cheer high above the city. Families can look forward to nighttime views of the Utah State Capitol, the Temple Square holiday lights, and downtown Salt Lake City from the 18th floor of the Zions Bank Conference Suite. Children will enjoy milk and cookies with Santa, games, and other surprises.
“The holidays can often be a stressful time, especially for our military families who face separation due to deployment or separation from their extended family whom they would normally celebrate the holidays with,” said Emily Harrison, Blue Star Families’ Salt Lake City Chapter Director. “It is a wonderful opportunity for Blue Star Families and our partner organizations to provide a special evening where our military families can come together and enjoy the spirit of the season.”
The Blue Star Families Salt Lake City Chapter launched in the Salt Lake Valley earlier this summer, providing the community with paid support staff to provide programs, events, and activities that foster community amongst our service members and their families. The holiday party will be the signature Chapter event of the year, one that will become an annual tradition. This event will also allow for a fun distraction from the stressors of the military lifestyle and provide an outlet to build connections with other families and community members.
Over the past 10 years, Blue Star Families has focused on addressing the needs of military families by conducting data-driven research, developing critical programming, and providing valuable resources for support.
“Military service members and their families make significant personal sacrifices to keep us all safe,” said Kathy Roth-Douquet, CEO of Blue Star Families. “We are honored to give back to those families by providing a cheerful evening. We are so grateful to our partner organizations for supporting our efforts to provide a wonderful holiday season for these families.”
This event wouldn’t be possible without the support of incredible community partners who have generously and continuously stepped forward in support of military families.
“At Discover, we’re committed to doing the right thing and treating people with respect. Living these values reaches beyond our customers and extends to the communities in which we live and work,” said Steve Peck, VP, Consumer Lending and Banking Operations, of Discover Financial. “We are excited to build this new relationship with Blue Star Families and provide support for local service members, veterans, and their families, especially during this time of year.”
According to Blue Star Families’ 2018 Military Family Lifestyle Survey, financial issues were the top lifestyle stressor for the first time among military family respondents. Additionally, military family respondents reported higher rates of difficulty making ends meet compared to civilian families. That said, the holidays can be an added financial stress for families, especially among the nation’s enlisted and wounded warrior families. For that reason, we must continue to give back to military families—not only during the holidays but all year long.
About Blue Star Families
Blue Star Families builds communities that support military families by connecting research and data to programs and solutions, including career development tools, local community events for families, and caregiver support. Since its inception in 2009, Blue Star Families has engaged tens of thousands of volunteers and serves more than 1.5 million military family members nationwide. With Blue Star Families, military families can find answers to their challenges anywhere they are. For more information, visit bluestarfam.org.
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About Zions Bank
Zions First National Bank was founded in Salt Lake City in 1873 and continues its legacy of strength and stability as one of the oldest financial institutions in the Intermountain West. To bring value to individuals, small-to middle-market businesses, nonprofits, corporations, and institutions, Zions Bank provides a wide range of traditional banking and innovative technology services. Through its network of 122 full-service financial centers across Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming, the bank offers consumers a range of mortgage and home equity loan options, AmaZing Rewards® credit cards, Private and Executive Banking services, and online and mobile banking.
About Operation Homefront
Operation Homefront is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose mission is to build strong, stable, and secure military families so they can thrive — not simply struggle to get by — in the communities they have worked so hard to protect. For over fifteen years, we have provided programs that offer: RELIEF (through Critical Financial Assistance and transitional housing programs), RESILIENCY (through permanent housing and caregiver support services), and RECURRING FAMILY SUPPORT programs and services throughout the year that help military families overcome the short-term bumps in the road so they don’t become long-term chronic problems. Operation Homefront has consistently earned high ratings from leading charity rating services, including Charity Navigator, which gave OH 4 Stars for 11 consecutive years for superior service and accountability. At Operation Homefront, 92 percent of expenditures go directly toward delivering programs and services to the military families who need it most.
Operation Homefront’s Holiday Toy Drive helps bring holiday cheer to military families by connecting military communities with donations of toys made by the public through Dollar Tree locations across the United States.