Recently I heard about a program that allowed families to adopt soldiers, or military families, for the holidays into their homes or just for gift giving/donations to help with expenses.
I love this idea. Sam and I know of many soldiers who aren’t able to head home for the holidays due to work or finances. There are also many military families that can’t afford to go home, or can’t take that time off. Sometimes they’ve just moved to a new area, other times money is tight and they can’t do much during the holidays. While the military life is good most of the time to help anyone struggling, it also brings a lot of financial stress when the other half of the parenting is gone.
Ft. Bliss, El Paso, where we are stationed, has an Adopt a Soldier project in place that pairs families willing to host someone for a meal with a soldier looking for a family to spend time with. In November, there were so many people here that offered, they closed the family side and left the soldier one open. Really a special way to let the service members know you’re thinking about them.
There are bases all over the US that offer this type of program. Googling the one nearest you and “Adopt a Soldier” should bring up any nearby.
If there isn’t, there are many other ways to help. Some sites deliver meals, presents, help spouses with a deployed loved one, and send care packages overseas. A few are for children who have a deployed parent. One even delivers presents to wives from their husband stationed overseas.
Here are sites that offer several different choices of how to give. Make sure to check their sites thoroughly before making an online payment or donating any money.
- Adopt a Soldier
- Adopt a Hero for Christmas
- Home Front America (San Diego area)
- Little Patriots Embraced (donation/children)
- Operation Holiday Joy (donation)
- Holiday Meals for Military (meals)
- Operation Home Front
- Hugs for Our Soldiers
If you are in the military, you can always ask the FRG about helping any families that are in need. Invite a soldier in your spouse’s company for a meal.
What are some of the ways you get involved in helping families during the holidays? Are there sites or programs you know of that aren’t’ listed above?