September 25, 2020
Have you heard the news?
We’ve had one busy summer, and now we’re gearing up to kick off the inaugural Blue Star Welcome Week from Monday, September 28th – Friday, October 2nd!
If you’ve missed the buzz in your inbox or on social media, we’re sharing four things you’ll want to know about this special celebration.
1. Why Blue Star Welcome Week? And why now?
Over the years, we’ve gathered plenty of research and stories from military families who’ve shared their challenges and experiences. And there’s often one common, constant thread: due to frequent moves, the task of establishing a sense of belonging to a community is far from easy.
In fact, according to our Military Family Lifestyle Survey, 70% of military families live off-installation, and 40% of military family respondents don’t feel a sense of belonging to their local civilian community.
We’re on a mission to change that because military families need to feel connected so they can feel empowered to thrive and continue to serve our country. That’s why we created Blue Star Welcome Week!
- OUR GOAL: Here at Blue Star Families, our goal for this week is to ignite a connection between military families and their civilian neighbors and organizations.
- OUR REASON FOR HOSTING THIS NOW: One-third of military families set out to move to a new duty station each summer. This transition brings a unique set of challenges on its own—from finding a new home and school to unpacking and organizing, and even searching for local favorites (like restaurants, shops, parks, and family-friendly spots) and a military-spouse-friendly career. As you can imagine, COVID-19 has only exacerbated those challenges. So we hope Blue Star Welcome Week offers a safe opportunity for military families to establish a sense of belonging and community.
2. Who’s invited?
Active-duty service members, National Guardsmen, Reservists, veterans, retirees, and their families—no matter if you’re new to your current duty station location or you’ve lived there for some time now and are looking for resources and ways you can better establish community.
Civilian neighbors (who we like to call Blue Star Neighbors!)—both individuals and organizations looking to roll out the red carpet for military families, welcoming them with open arms and helping them plant roots in your area.
3. Where’s it happening?
In each of our 11 Chapter locations as well as nationwide!
- Blue Star Families Chapter locations: each Chapter has planned unique connection opportunities, from discounts provided by local shops to physically-distanced or virtual events, and welcome baskets with freebies and resources!
- Nationwide: we’ve teamed up with various partners and created virtual resources and opportunities to bring the fun to YOU! Keep scrolling to learn how you can get involved.
4. What’s in store for Blue Star Welcome Week?
- Messages of welcome & appreciation from Blue Star Neighbors across the country
- Special events, resources, and giveaways in a Chapter location near you
- Spotlights on local favorites from military families and Blue Star Neighbors
We hope the connections created through these resources and events continue to grow long after the week is over!
Also, it’s important to note that none of this would be possible without our Blue Star Welcome Week sponsors! A special THANK YOU to the individuals and organizations who’ve helped make this inaugural event happen.
5. How can I get involved?
Whether you live near a Blue Star Families Chapter location or not, there are plenty of ways you can join in on the fun—no matter where you’re at on your journey, or if you’re military or civilian!
- Check out events happening in a Chapter location near you here.
- Share or explore local favorites in your community in our virtual guide here, which was created in partnership with Starbucks, a Blue Star Neighbor!
- Purchase a Welcome to the Neighborhood yard sign to show YOU are a neighbor military families can count on here. (For every sign purchased, $5 goes towards supporting the Blue Star Families mission!)
- Donate to support specific Blue Star Families programming here.
We look forward to you joining us, as well as your fellow military families and civilian neighbors, to create community and a sense of belonging for all who serve!