National Newsletter  |  Issue #9

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As the weather is turning cooler at my house, I find myself welcoming fall colors, buying squash at the farmers' market, and prepping the fireplace.

My children will be coming home for Thanksgiving break soon. While I'm looking forward to creating new memories with them, I'm remembering Thanksgivings of the past - separated during a deployment or thrown together after an unexpected move. Even a restaurant-made turkey can be good when you don't expect too much and count your blessings!  

While many of us are starting to look ahead to the end-of-year holidays, I know this time often brings mixed feelings. Being apart from those you love and the pressure of creating memorable experiences for your children, hosting (or not hosting) family, and purchasing popular, expensive gifts can be overwhelming. I invite you to take a moment to breathe and know you're not alone. We're in this together! If you live near a Blue Star Chapter, or even if you don't, we'd love to hear from you and help you connect. 

 

We have some fun freebies to support you. Check out our Exclusive Member Benefits. You'll find some wonderful ways to ease your stress and jumpstart your holiday shopping. Personally, I love the complimentary Spiritune app, which uses music therapy to shift your mood (even my Marine Corps husband of 30 years likes it!).  Also, keep an eye on our website and social media channels for prize giveaways happening this month which aim to boost your well-being. 

Remember, too, that financial worries are a very real by-product of military life - there's no shame in that. So many of us, 63% in fact (according to our recent survey), feel financial stress. It might be helpful to know there are a lot of relief opportunities and resources available to you, more than most people realize. If you have financial concerns, please take a look at what we've gathered for you alongside our friends at JPMorgan Chase & Co. 

If you're looking for a way to give back this season, one of the greatest gifts you can give is your time. Consider joining us as a Blue Star Volunteer at one of the many holiday events happening within our Blue Star Chapter locations. We'd love to see you there!

Finally and most importantly, I want to express my gratitude to you for being part of our (Blue Star) family. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

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GIVEAWAYS


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This November, salute those who serve with new Proud to Honor merchandise! All profits 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 BSF will each receive 10% of the purchase price of Proud to Honor merchandise sold now through December 31, 2021.

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Get ready for another Blue Star Giveaway starting November 1! You'll have the chance to enter to win one of two SleepNumber 360® smart beds.

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In honor of Veterans Day, our friends at Aura are offering our members two years of access to its easy-to-use, all-in-one digital security protection platform at no cost to keep your family's personal information, devices, and finances safe from online threats. *Registration is limited to the first 500 members who sign up. Access your membership now!

RESEARCH


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The withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan after nearly 20 years of war, and the evacuation and resettlement of Afghanistan allies in the U.S., has impacted military and Veteran families. In our Afghanistan Allies Pulse Check, military and Veteran family respondents strongly supported the obligation to resettle Afghan allies. In fact, almost half (46%) of those respondents who served in Afghanistan had already taken action to support Afghan allies, just days after the withdrawal (September 3rd-7th, 2021).

PROGRAMS

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There is no better time than Veterans Day to recognize that our freedom isn't guaranteed. It's protected by the men and women in our Armed Services. Please sign our virtual card to thank a Veteran for their service this Veterans Day. Show your support today.

CAREERS

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Together, we're digging deep to determine barriers to military spouse unemployment and building a coalition of committed leaders and organizations to solve the issue. It's our mission to ensure military families have greater access to economic stability.

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What can Steady App, a Blue Star Partner, do for you and your career? Help you quickly earn over $200 in income boosters. You can also access additional resources regarding rent support, student loan assistance, unemployment, and more. Download the Steady app, and support Blue Star Careers today.

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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 Parks DEPLOY Fellow; Kelley Klor, Amazon Food Insecurity DEPLOY Fellow; and Brandy Tillman, Communications DEPLOY Fellow. We're so 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


Civics Unplugged Wide

Blue Star Families is excited to join forces, once again, with Civics Unplugged for its Civics Unplugged Fellowship! Register for more information on how your high school student can apply for this free, virtual three-month leadership program.

MEMBER PERKS


NEWSWORTHY NOTES


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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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Thank You, Partners!

We're grateful for USAA's generous support in helping to strengthen military and Veteran families 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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Small Business Saturday Support

This month, celebrate Small Business Saturday on November 27th by supporting a military spouse and/or Veteran-owned small business. Also, be on the lookout for discussions on Blue Star Families' platforms with military spouse entrepreneurs and small business owners. Let's keep the #ShopSmall energy going all year long!

Partner Spotlight

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