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‘Tis the Season to be jolly fa-la-la-la, la la la la.

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This is the time of year for cheers, celebrations, family gatherings, gift-giving and gift-receiving.  This is the time of year that more money then usual is spend, more folks will travel by plane, train or automobile.

This is also the time of year where most folks will eat food thats not normally cooked throughout the year and promise to start a new diet as soon as this time of year is over.

This is even the time of year where marital engagements will happen and the time of year will cause babies to be born 9-months from now.  Cold winter tends to bring people closer and the unplowed snow roads forces many to stay home.

This is also the time of year where some kids will get what they asked Santa for and other will get a bag of lumped coals.

Yeah-most people have mixed feelings about this time, but overall, its the most festive time of year.

But did you know that this is also the time of year that many of our country sons and daughters are missing their love ones back home? Their missing them due to an assignment or a deployment that prevents them from sharing those holiday festivities  the way that more then 90% of Americans are doing.  They are away fighting a “never-ending war” or somewhere protecting a border or somewhere trying to keep the peace between people that have different views and religious preference then others.

They will miss their love ones during this time of year. Someone has to man the post and because of this, not everyone can go on leave at the same time. However, for this they do get to leave their assignment post, on-by-one, case-by-case someone has to approve or disapprove who gets to share these moments with their loved ones this holiday season.

Unfortunately this is the time of season whereas service members get lonely.  Loneliness cause depression and depression often couple with loneliness can sometime lead to suicide. Granted, no state is spared from veterans suicides, however, Montana, Utah, Nevada and New Mexico had the highest rates of veteran suicide as of 2014. In fact veterans account for more then 20% of suicides in the US although vets only account for less then 10% of the US population.

There are programs available that support veterans especially during this time of the year.  The folks joined together in this cause provide gifts to military families in need, help with food for their family and offer paid and or discounted travel arrangements is thats what can get the service member to their family for the holiday.

These services include: (www.militatyimes.com)

Pay Away The Lay Away

Military Benefits is proud to have partnered with Pay Away The Layaway to support military families by paying off their layaway balances at the Exchanges and retail stores. Pay Away Layaway is a national 501(c)3 non profit organization all volunteer organization which means most of the money goes directly to military families.

Adopt-a-Family for the Holidays

Numerous organizations offer adopt-a-family programs. Military families who can show proof of need submit their wish lists to the organization and donors adopt the families by purchasing items from their wish lists for Christmas. Because of the popularity of adopt-a-family programs, you must fill out an application months before Christmas in order to get on the list. Pay attention to deadlines and get your application in as soon as the window opens because spaces fill up fast.

Full Circle Home

Full Circle Home gives deployed servicemen a chance to send a gift box to their wives back home. Gift boxes contain pampering items, such as lotions, bubble baths and spa socks. They also feature a handwritten note from the serviceman.

Military Installation Support

The family centers at military installations offer assistance in many forms during the holidays including programs such as Santa’s Shop in which donations are taken for military families in need. Contact the local installation for how you can help. For assistance, reach out to the Family Readiness Group, Chaplain or MWR.

Operation Christmas Spirit

Operation Christmas Spirit supports local military families in the form of holiday gratitude by: “Adopting” over 100 families and fulfilling their Christmas wish lists with gifts for all family members and gift cards to do their own shopping; Sponsor gifts and crafts at unit holiday parties; “Adopt” single Marines and Sailors, giving them gifts and gifts cards to celebrate whether near or far from their families.

Operation Holiday Joy

Donate to Operation Holiday Joy. 100% of your donation goes to food and toys this holiday season and you can designate your donation to a specific program.

Operation Homefront

Operation Homefront offers many programs for military families throughout the year and Christmas is no exception. The organization partners with Dollar Tree to provide toys for

military children. To receive a gift, you must register for your local Operation Homefront Toy Distribution. If your family lacks the funds for a holiday meal, you can also attend one of the organization’s holiday meal events and receive all of the fixings for the perfect Christmas dinner.

Red Cross

The Red Cross provides many military family services including but not limited to financial assistance and deployment services.

Spirit of Sharing

The Adopt-A-Military Family program provides commissary cards, gifts, toys and much more to military families in need.  How to help or how to get help.

Soldiers’ Angels

Soldiers’ Angels sponsors Operation Outreach Holiday Support. Lower enlisted families can sign up to receive a $50-$100 gift card to help pay for a holiday meal and gifts for children ages 15 and under. Families must sign up for the program by December 15 and are matched with donors from around the United States.

Toys for Tots

The U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program collects new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the community in which the campaign is conducted.  The program is for all children, including military kids.  Donate or request a toy.

Trees for Troops

Every family needs a Christmas tree and Tree for Troops, sponsored by the Christmas Spirit Foundation, offers free Christmas trees for military families. Trees are available at 62 bases throughout the United States.

Veterans Service Organizations

Many Veterans’ Service Organizations (American Legion, VFW, etc.) provide a wide variety of holiday support to service members, veterans, and their families. Program benefits often include meals, food , gift cards, and adopt-a-family, or adopt-a-veteran programs.

USO

Local USO offices provide a variety of holiday assistance programs including holiday dinners, events with Santa, toy and food drives and much.  Contact a local USO office.

Wreaths Across America

Donate to Wreaths Across America which coordinates wreath laying ceremonies on a specified Saturday in December at Arlington, as well as veterans’ cemeteries and other locations in all 50 states and beyond. They organize a week of events including international veteran’s tributes, ceremonies at State Houses and a week-long “Veteran’s Parade” between Maine and Virginia.

Additional Way to Support the Military this Holiday Season

Care packages, holiday cards and letters, thanking our veterans and military families are all ways we can provide additional support.

Enjoy the Holidays

Lets make this time of year count.  Lets make this the year that we reduce the #22 a day.  Just as all things, it takes a village, lets be that.

Also if you know of service members that may be in a financial bind or doest have a place to celebrate Christmas with someone please give them the above information.

For more information check out link below.
Read more: https://militarybenefits.info/christmas-programs-for-military-families-in-need/#ixzz528ZZSxQc

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