Warm hearts. Cozy. Joyful.
What words describe your holiday season?
While I hope “bah humbug” isn’t the first that jumps to mind, I know this time of year can be a real challenge for many military families – especially if you’re missing loved ones, whether due to distance or deployment.
I’m here to remind you: you are not alone! You have a support system at Blue Star Families. Reach out to a Chapter near you or interact with us on social media. The holidays can be hectic, but the spirit of the season can give us a sense of security, hope, and comfort — even amidst the constant change in our lives.
Also, coming to you in the new year will be more ways to connect – with the addition of another Chapter location and brand new virtual community. We're working on a bold and powerful digital environment to personalize your experience with Blue Star Families. Our goal is to better help you find your people and find support. We can’t wait to share with you, so please stay tuned!
Our team is always looking for new and improved ways to provide members like you with the support you really need. What you may have needed from us this year might differ from next year. And that’s OK! We’re learning to grow together.
I want to know what you think. React to 2022, and tell us what you want to see in 2023!
I am also very excited to offer you a chance to have your grocery bill paid! Over the next three weeks, 16 lucky military families will receive $500 (1), $250 (5), $100 (5), or $50 (5) to help pay for groceries, courtesy of Blue Star Families and Land O’Lakes. Enter today!
One last thought I’d love to leave you with this year: please remember to be kind.
Be kind to your neighbor. Be kind to your family.
Most importantly, be kind to yourself.
I will never forget the impact of a small act of kindness from a neighbor so long ago. It had lasting effects on me, and I do my best to hold that feeling in my heart and give it back to those around me. I encourage you to do the same. Small acts of kindness can change the world.
Enjoy this special holiday season, and I can’t wait to see what 2023 brings us all!
How can we serve you better?
Take the 2022 Impact Survey to help us understand what you enjoyed this year, what needs improving, and how you’d like Blue Star Families to serve you and your family in 2023!
Find a Yellow Ribbon Tree near you!
This holiday season, Blue Star Families has partnered with over 100 Starbucks stores across the country to host Yellow Ribbon Trees. These trees honor service members away for the holidays. Check to see if there's a participating location near you, and pay a visit to hang an ornament in their honor!
Last chance to join our project management cohort!
Our next Grow with Google Scholarship certificate cohort starts December 15th, and it’s open to members at no cost to you (a $1,000 value). In less than 6 months, you can gain a new certification in project management, learn with a team while at your own pace, get career coaching, and land a sustainable career.
Let's get you hired!
The new year means new careers. Join us every Thursday in the Spouseforce virtual community for a Careerathon hosted by Blue Star Careers. It’s a chance to hear about the latest job leads. Here are some tips to help you land your next opportunity:
- Review the job description posted via our network
- Update your resume to showcase you’re a qualified candidate
- Apply on our employer partner’s website
- Send a copy of your resume and confirmation of your application to [email protected] if you’d like a referral
Land Your Dream Job.
T-Mobile knows you're qualified and wants to hire you for the job you trained for — no matter where the military takes you. Connect with a #TeamMagenta recruiter today and land your dream job.
Need help with groceries?
Food insecurity and hunger rates are far too high in our military community. Amazon and mRelief make it easy to determine if you qualify for SNAP (food stamps) and to enroll as a Veteran or military family. Text “Eat” to 74544 or visit mrelief.com/amazon.
TRICARE Open Season ends soon!
Mark your calendar - Monday, December 12th is the last day you can apply for supplemental vision insurance, or you go without until 2024. Don’t let your active-duty military family miss out. Our trusted partners at Blue Cross Blue Shield FEP Vision have an easy online tool to determine which plan suits your family’s vision care needs.
Vote Blue Star Families!
Have you voted for us through Target Circle? If not, there’s still time! Help direct Target’s giving to benefit our organization and the community.
NYSE Ringing the Bell
We were at the NYSE! Our CEO, Kathy Roth-Douquet, and Craig Newmark, one of our biggest supporters, had the exciting honor of ringing the New York Stock Exchange’s closing bell. Joining Kathy and Craig on the podium were New York Tri-State Chapter members, military families, Blue Star Partners, and Blue Star Families staff. November marked Military Family Appreciation Month and Veterans Day, so this was a wonderful opportunity to help draw public awareness to those serving in the armed forces – past and present – and their families.
Grab the goods. And deliver the good.
Ford Proud to Honor is the military initiative by Ford Motor Company to support our service members — active, reserve, and Veteran. Every time you purchase Proud to Honor merchandise, 100% of Ford profits will be donated to Blue Star Families and Disabled American Veterans (DAV) – two military charities that help our Veterans, service members, and their families.
Learn from the World's Best
MasterClass is proud to partner with Blue Star Families to offer no-cost annual memberships to the entire MasterClass platform for one year (a $180 value)! Enter to receive a “get one, give one” MasterClass subscription for yourself and another this holiday season.
Military Kids Online Safety Guide
Getting your kids new phones, games, or other tech for the holidays? Aura, a consumer cybersecurity company and Blue Star Partner, has published its Military Kids Online Safety Guide. It’s designed to help you encourage safe online behavior and good digital citizenship before your kids begin using their new devices. Aura's all-in-one consumer online safety app now includes parental controls that can help you manage your child's screen time, content filtering, and other digital behaviors. Visit https://press.aura.com/Military-Kids-Online-Safety for more online safety resources tailored to families and access up to 50% off protection plans.
Pay Your Grocery Bill Sweepstakes
We’ve seen prices spike over the past year on butter/margarine, eggs, and flour, which is why we’re offering to PAY YOUR HOLIDAY GROCERY BILLS! Over the next three weeks, 16 lucky military families will receive $500 (1), $250 (5), $100 (5), or $50 (5) to help pay for their groceries, courtesy of Blue Star Families and Land O’Lakes. Will it be you? You’ll have a “butter” chance if you enter now.
A Special Surprise from Sleep Number
Army Veteran, Neil, receives a Sleep Number® 360 smart bed and a surprise visit by Running Back Clyde Edwards of the Kansas City Chiefs as part of Sleep Number's "Thank You, Military" sweepstakes through Blue Star Families.
We're Building a Place You Can Call "Home"
Hey Members! We're working on a bold and powerful digital environment to personalize your experience with Blue Star Families. Our goal is to better help you find your people and find support. We can’t wait to share with you, so please stay tuned!
Pass Military Spouse Hiring Act - Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC)
The federal government has a program called the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC), which offers a tax credit to employers that hire members of targeted groups, like qualified military. The Military Spouse Hiring Act of 2022 is a bipartisan bill that would amend the tax code to expand the WOTC to include military spouses. This Act must pass by the end of the year, or we must start our efforts all over again. You can help by signing this petition and urging your elected official to make this a priority.
Thank You, Blue Star Partners!
We at Blue Star Families want to send our thanks and appreciation for the very generous support of JPMorgan Chase & Co., Lockheed Martin, Salesforce, and Wells Fargo. Because of the generous gift of these partners, we work with some outstanding individuals – Lydiah Owiti, Financial Wellness DEPLOY Fellow; Marla Bautista, Food Insecurity DEPLOY Fellow; Angela Alford, Technology DEPLOY Fellow; and Kimberly Gold, Wells Fargo Housing DEPLOY Fellow. Together, we are making a difference in the lives of many, and for that, we are grateful. Thank you!
Thank you, The Kendeda Fund!
Because of the foundation’s support, we were able to build and grow Blue Star Outdoors, creating more opportunities in Chapter locations around the country to get connected outdoors.