Family Matters Update

Nov 18, 2015 -- Posted by : admin

I am sure you all are getting ready for Thanksgiving and Christmas. This year, I was able to finish all my Christmas shopping in November and I am ALL DONE! How about you? Has anyone started their shopping? Is anyone else finished?

I know things are slow around this time of year as it relates to Membership so I was not surprised to see that we did not increase our Family Members numbers at all this week.

Just please keep in mind that when you sign someone up as a Chapter Member, there most likely is a spouse supporting him/her so be sure to sign them up, too, as a Family Member. And children 18 years and over can also be signed up as a Family Member. Get them ALL involved!

On another note, I am sure your Chapters have some holiday festivities planned. Be sure to involve your Family Members in every aspect from planning to entertainment to baking desserts. And I want pictures posted on your Facebook page, please, of Chapter and Family Members in action!

I did some research and here is a website showing organizations who “Give Back to Those Who Give It All” -- Maybe your Chapter could donate to one of them.

Other ways to give back to our troops overseas:

The Any Soldier program is designed for people to send cards, letters and small gifts to our troops. Simply click on the service branch you would like to send to, and then choose from a long list of troop members’ names. They each write a little blurb saying what they most need. Any Soldier asks that you send cards, letters and gifts all year long, not just at the holidays. During the holidays, send small gifts as larger gifts are too cumbersome for the soldiers. Christmas cards and letters also are welcome.

The organization Homefront Hugs seeks to make a personal connection between you and the soldier. To join, simply fill out a brief application. Once it is submitted and you get your soldier’s name, you are expected to send out a care package and a letter within one week. Then, you should send out a small package and letter every two weeks. (Care packages can be small, such as a magazine and a pack of gum.)

Homefront Hugs appreciates volunteers making a 6-month commitment.

Homefront Hugs has many programs to choose from, and they also have programs for the soldier’s family. Instead of adopting a soldier, you can choose to adopt his or her family and send one letter and care package a month. Another program includes sending a stuffed stocking for a deployed soldier’s child to enjoy at Christmas. Sometimes sponsoring the family instead of the solider can put the soldier’s mind at ease so he can focus on his job.

Operation Give helps soldiers help citizens in the countries where they are stationed. You can donate money, toys, clothing in good condition, school supplies, art supplies, baby care items, personal care items, and everyday medical items. The troops will hand these items out to the needy that they meet every day in the country in which they are stationed.

Cell Phones for Soldiers allows you to donate your unwanted cell phones. These phones get recycled and, in turn, the organization donates a pre-paid calling card to a soldier overseas so he can call home. You can also donate money for calling cards as well. Not only are you helping a soldier stay in touch with family, but you are helping to keep cell phones out of landfills.

Remember to share with me any activities where your Family Members have chaired an event and also those who volunteered to help. If you could send me their name and address (or email) and what they did, I will personally send them a thank-you note.

Until next time -- stay safe, God Bless, thanks for all you do for AFSA, but most of all Thank You for Your Service!

- Patti Dalzell, AFSA Division 3 Family Matters Chair