“While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.” ― Angela Schwindt
September is here, and that means that, by now, an estimated 1.3 million military children are back in school. For the last eight consecutive years, our team at Operation Homefront has been honored to be there to send them off via our Back-To-School Brigade program.
For our staff and volunteers, Back-To-School Brigade is not about the more than 100 distribution events held nationwide this summer, or the approximately 44,000 backpacks distributed. It’s about the 5-year-old who can barely contain his excitement about going to Kindergarten. Or the slightly nervous teen headed off to high school. The 3rd grader who can’t decide if their favorite class is math or gym. (you can tell they want to say gym, but feel like they should say math).
Back-To-School Brigade is, for us, also a time to learn. Learning who our military kids are and hearing their stories. For many military children, this may be their first school or their fourth. Mom or Dad may be helping them with Algebra this year via Skype on an iPad far away from home. The brigade lets us share a small part of their journey, and reminds us of the sacrifice made by all members of a military family, and why our mission to support them matters. They teach us about courage, resiliency, the power of gratitude and the impact of a smile.
Thank you to our amazing volunteers who collected donated school supplies over the summer, as well as those who helped organize and run our distribution events. In addition, none of this would be possible without the support of our community and sponsors, who donated everything from reams of paper, to crayons, to backpacks and much more: Dollar Tree, SAIC, Veterans United Foundation, RetailMeNot, eBags and Eckrich — you’re the superheroes of BTSB!
Stay tuned! October 1 is when we open up the nomination period for the Military Child of the Year Award ® . This award recognizes military children who have demonstrated the characteristics of exceptional citizens while facing the challenges of military family life. Help us let our terrific military kids know just how special they are.