National Newsletter  |  Issue #10

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The timing of the holidays can be hectic. But the spirit of the season can give us all a sense of security, hope, and comfort — even amidst the constant change of our lives! Do you have gatherings, season’s greetings, or family traditions you’re looking forward to this year?

In my home, some of our most favorite traditions revolve around making applesauce and baking cookies to share with neighbors and friends. I bet you can relate to that! 

If you’re looking for a fun new treat to mix up in the kitchen, I’ve included one of my favorite cookie recipes below. You can also join our Blue Star Holiday Cookie Exchange! Submit your favorite holiday cookie recipe and receive one directly to your inbox from the staff at Blue Star Families. I hope you enjoy it and share it with those you care about.



I know that military families continue to deal with changes and challenges. Not being near friends and family during the holidays is a reality that so many deal with. I remember PCSing overseas in December a number of years ago. My children were young, and I was worried about how we would honor our family’s holiday traditions in a hotel in a new country far away from friends and family. Just when I had lost all hope, we were surprised with a special delivery. A dear friend went out of his way to send us a care package full of thoughtful gifts, decorations, and a lot of love. I will never forget that act of kindness and do my best to hold that feeling in my heart and give it back to those around me. 

Thank you for being on this journey with Blue Star Families. Since 2009, we’ve delivered over millions in value to our members, including discounts and giveaways through our exclusive member benefits. We look forward to doing even more in the years to come. Whether your time as a military family is at the beginning or nearing its end, we want you to know that we are here to listen and support you. And in the new year, we will have even more ways to connect with the addition of a new Chapter location and a brand new virtual community just for our members. We can’t wait to share with you, so please stay tuned.

I hope you enjoy your holidays, and I can’t wait to see what 2022 brings us!

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GIVEAWAYS

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As you start your search for holiday gifts, protect what you care about offline by securing everything you do online with two years of FREE access to Aura's easy-to-use, all-in-one digital security protection. Keep your family and your personal information, devices, and finances safe from online threats. *Supplies limited. Sign up for a FREE Aura membership today.

RESEARCH

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Take the 2021 Annual Impact Survey to help us understand what you liked (or didn't) this year and weigh in on how you’d like to see Blue Star Families serve you and your family in 2022!

PROGRAMS

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This holiday season, we've once again teamed up with Starbucks stores across the country to set up Yellow Ribbon Trees honoring service members away for the holidays. See if there's one in your community, and stop by to decorate an ornament!

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Thanks to the generous support of Amazon and Craig Newmark Philanthropies, Blue Star Families created a food insecurity resources page to help military families find the resources and information they need. Learn more about how food insecurity affects today's military families today.

CAREERS

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USAA, Navy Federal Credit Union, and PenFed Credit Union have joined forces with Blue Star Families to tackle military spouse unemployment. It's no secret that military spouses are underemployed and that COVID-19 has exacerbated employment challenges for military spouses significantly. Find out how you can join us in finding a solution!

BSF Partners

Thank You, Blue Star Partners!

We’re grateful for the support of Amazon, Craig Newmark Philanthropies, Salesforce, and USAA. Because of the generous gift of these partners, we hired Charo Bates, Applied Research & Social Impact DEPLOY Fellow; Quiana Abner, National Chapter DEPLOY Fellow; Leslie Wightman, Technology DEPLOY Fellow; Nicole Rawlinson, Blue Star Outdoors DEPLOY Fellow; Kelley Klor, Amazon Food Insecurity DEPLOY Fellow; and Brandy Tillman, Communications DEPLOY Fellow. We’re excited they’re a part of our team, and we enjoy seeing the positive impacts they’re making on the military- and Veteran-connected community.

Resources + Opportunities

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This holiday season, salute those who serve with Ford Proud to Honor merchandise! All proceeds* benefit Blue Star Families and Disabled American Veterans (DAV) to help support Veterans, active-duty service members, and their families. Shop the new merchandise at Ford Proud to Honor. *DAV and Blue Star Families will each receive 10% of the purchase price of Proud to Honor merchandise sold now through December 31st.

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While TRICARE Health Plans don't include coverage for prescription eyeglasses and contact lenses, supplemental vision plans with certain carriers do. And you qualify. To get the extra coverage, though, there are some things you need to know. Join us Tuesday, December 7th, at 3 PM ET on Facebook for our webinar How to Get Your Military Family Affordable Vision Coverage.

MEMBER PERKS

NEWSWORTHY NOTES

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If you’re looking for a new and welcome treat to mix up in the kitchen, we’ve got a fun holiday tradition for our members -- a Blue Star Holiday Cookie Exchange! Submit your favorite holiday cookie recipe and receive one directly to your inbox from the staff at Blue Star Families. Enjoy!

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We're Building a Place You Can Call "Home"

We’re working behind the scenes on an online community just for our members Blue Star Neighborhood. Stay tuned in the coming weeks to learn all about it and how you can join!

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Military families, Veterans, and Veteran families, it's time to secure your supplemental vision insurance. Learn more about Blue Cross Blue Shield FEP Vision and get a plan recommendation.

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Did you know the IRS changed the special tax provision, allowing more Americans to deduct up to $600 in donations to qualifying charities on their 2021 federal income tax return? Check out the update. Why not consider donating to the efforts of Blue Star Families?

USAA

Thank You, Partners!

Investing in military and Veteran families benefits us all. We could not accomplish our goals without the support, involvement, and enthusiasm of committed sponsors like USAA. We’re grateful for the generous support to strengthen the families of those who serve and build stronger, more connected communities. Together, we’re making a difference in the lives of many!

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Veterans and Veteran families, it's open enrollment season, which means it's time for you to secure your supplemental dental insurance. Learn more about Blue Cross Blue Shield FEP Dental, get a plan recommendation, see if your provider is in-network, and find the cost of dental coverage where you live.

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Our amazing partners at the HISTORY Channel have pledged to donate $1 to Blue Star Families for every photo, video, or memory shared of a favorite childhood toy. All you have to do is share a post between now and December 31st using #ToysThatBuiltAmerica, and tag @HISTORY and @BlueStarFamilies. Then, tune in to the HISTORY Channel’s series, The Toys That Built America! Check your local listings for times.

Partner Spotlight

We’d like to thank the following sponsors for supporting Blue Star Families!