National Newsletter  |  Issue #2

March Newsletter Champions for Change Header Banner graphic image

Here's what I know: change doesn't happen without someone brave enough to say, "There's got to be a better way."

Twelve years ago, it was my milspouse friends and me who were tired of feeling helpless, tired of not being heard, and tired of not being seen. We knew, though, that if we had a collective way to share our concerns about MilLife with the world, then maybe we'd have a voice for change. And that's how Blue Star Families was born—with a group of concerned individuals and a survey.

Back then, all we wanted was to make MilLife a little bit better for ourselves and others. Today, we've grown into a team of passionate folks hustling every day to find solutions to YOUR challenges.

Others inspired by our survey data tackle the issues we cannot solve ourselves. Many of those changemakers are Blue Star Chapter members, like Army spouse Erica McMannes, co-founder of Instant Teams; and veteran Cassie Barlow, who founded and chairs the myVeteran Community. Blue Star Families cares about the whole military family, and that especially includes women—both those in uniform and female military spouses. We continue to highlight their unique challenges, and we seek to serve them better as we evolve.

So, over the next few weeks, I invite you to follow along on Instagram as we honor them and many others as part of Women's History Month.

I’d like to add that all of us here at Blue Star Families believe our military should be understood not merely as a total force, but a total family force. That means understanding the family matters, and service members’ role in the family must integrate with their role in military service.

Therefore, on March 30th and 31st, I'm hosting an online event to reveal our 2020 Military Family Lifestyle Survey results, which we fielded during one of the most trying years in American history. At the event, we'll tell you how MilFams fared and the new issues that arose. You may be shocked by what we found. Save your spot today.

For those looking for more ways to get involved with our mission or find support, check out the plethora of events, programs, and resources we have planned this month. Lastly, join us in keeping champions for change—our #BSFChangemakers—top-of-mind, and celebrate the things they're doing to make MilLife better for us all.

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EVENTS

Military Connected Families & the Covid-19 Vaccine: Part 2 social tile graphic

Dr. Fauci will be returning to address the new questions about the COVID-19 vaccine and the unique concerns military families might have about it. Join us as we discuss topics like access to the vaccine and the latest advice for military families as we approach PCS season.

Blue Star Families MFLS Launch Square

Join us March 30 and 31 for a two-day virtual event, offering you the opportunity to participate in engaging panels discussing the results of the 2020 Military Family Lifestyle Survey! Don't miss your chance to learn about the top issues impacting military families today. Register to receive more information!

RESEARCH

BSF MFRI Pulse Check graphic image

How has COVID-19 impacted your family's finances? Tell us by taking a short Pulse Check, and have the opportunity to enter to receive one of 20 $50 gift cards!

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It’s true. Our Chapters were designed with a specific social impact goal in mind: increase military families' sense of belonging to their local communities. Now we know they achieve that goal. Learn more about our Chapters and how you can get involved.

PROGRAMS

Month of the Military Child Blue Star Families CSX graphic image

April is recognized as the Month of the Military Child. This time is reserved for honoring and supporting military children for their resiliency, service, and sacrifices.

This year, Blue Star Families is hosting a fun, gratitude-filled volunteer opportunity to help military kids honor the bonds and connections they've made along the way with helpful neighbors, friends, and even local businesses!

VOLUNTEERS

Annual Military Lifestyle Survey (aMFLS) logo

Yes, it's time for Blue Star Families' 2021 Military Family Lifestyle Survey, and we need your help to spread the word.

CAREERS

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Thank You, Partners!

Thank you for your support, USAA, Starbucks, and JPMorgan Chase! Because of your generous gift, we can now hire a full-time DEPLOY Fellow. This exciting opportunity will allow us to identify a young leader within our community who will help to serve Blue Star Families' mission to train a new cohort of racially diverse leaders in the MSO/VSO space. We look forward to finding our DEPLOY Fellow!

Resources

Financial Assistance graphic image

If your family is experiencing financial stress due to the pandemic, you are not alone.

The good news is you may be eligible for financial support, including zero-interest loans and grants for qualifying military families and retired service members.

Cohen Veterans Network Tools for Stress & Worry graphic image

Stress can show itself in different ways for each of us. Cohen Veterans Network is committed to helping you discover new strategies to manage stress in your life.

We are so grateful for our partnership with the National Endowment for the Humanities and the S.T.A.R.T (Serving, Thriving, And, Reading, Together) program which has provided numerous opportunities for #MilFams like the Stevensons to connect with their communities through children’s literature!

MEMBER PERKS

caribu

Under normal circumstances, parenting can be exhausting; COVID-19 takes it to another level. Ask a loved one or a trusted friend to lend a hand by reading, coloring, or playing games with the kids via the Caribu video-calling app, all while you take a much-needed moment for yourself.

Caribu is always free for Blue Star Families members. If you don’t have the app yet, follow the instructions to sign up, and enjoy a #CaribuBreak here.

Partner Spotlight

We’d like to thank the following sponsors for their support of Blue Star Families!