The Issue: Children of Deployed Parents Face Anxiety
Though combat operations have officially ended in Iraq, many troops are still being deployed to Afghanistan and other places in the Middle East. Families of deployed National Guard and Reserve members face challenges different from those of other military branches' families. They are dispersed across vast geographical spaces, often far from bases and their support services. Furthermore, troops switch from civilian to military pay upon deployment, resulting in many taking significant pay cuts that can impact their families at home.
Our Military Kids, Inc. reported that 80 percent of survey respondents noticed increased stress and anxiety in their children during deployment. A study completed by the Army War College found that one of the most important factors in alleviating deployment-related stress for children was their participation in activities, especially sports.
The Campaign: Activities for Children with Deployed Parents
If this Grassroots campaign raises $400, then Our Military Kids can fund an activity grant for one local child of a deployed National Guard or military Reserve member. Each additional $400 will provide another activity grant to a child. These grants go directly to the activity provider, funding children's participation in sports, fine arts, and tutoring programs to help alleviate the stress associated with deployment. Along with every grant, Our Military Kids sends a "top secret" envelope that contains a certificate of recognition for the child's service along with trinkets such as a bracelet, bandana, or dog tags. Parents choose the activity that best suits their child, ranging from football to ballet.
You can follow the progress of this and other Grassroots campaigns at the Groupon Grassroots website.
Our Military Kids, Inc.
Our Military Kids, Inc. provides grants of up to $500 for children of deployed National Guard and Reserve service members and Wounded Warriors. These grants pay for participation in sports, fine-arts, or academic programs to help reduce the children's stress within limited family budgets. Since its inception eight years ago, Our Military Kids has funded more than 34,000 grants for children's activities, totaling nearly $14 million, helping alleviate stress and anxiety for children in one of the most volatile periods of their lives.