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Archive for March, 2017

April is the Month of the Military Child.

There are very real challenges for children of our military families. Frequent moves uproot them and more changes than just the house they live in. New friends, new teachers, new requirements, sometimes new language. A deployment can bring stress and worry over the safety of those they love. Moments and milestones will occur without Mom or Dad there.

But you know what? Military children are a tough and resilient group. No question about it.

That’s not to say that it is all flowers and sunshine all the time. But it can be a rewarding and growth experience that leads to experiences and opportunities that one wouldn’t trade for the world.

We asked this year’s Military Child of the Year ® Award recipients to pass on one piece of advice on how to make the most of military life. These are definitely great tips that are sure to inspire:

• Be as kind and outgoing as possible. A smile can go a long way, and can be especially helpful in making new friends. –Mary Kate Cooper, Military Child of the Year ®, U.S. Coast Guard.

• Try to hit the ground running. It is very easy to get overwhelmed in a new place, but if you take a deep breath and be sure to smile, things will turn out well.-Alexander McGrath, Military Child of the Year ®, U.S. Navy, who has moved 7 times.

• No matter what challenges you face never take your eyes off your goals and strive to achieve them. There will always be a road block to overcome in your life but how you choose to overcome those hurdles will define who you are.-Jamal Braxton, Military Child of the Year ®, U.S. Air Force.

• (Don’t) see disadvantages as innately bad, but see them as opportunities to create growth in yourself and the community.-Henderson Heussner, Military Child of the Year®, U.S. Army.

• Be proud of your parents and your entire family’s commitment to serving our country.-Sophie Bernstein, Military Child of the Year Award for Innovation recipient and daughter of U.S. Navy reservist.

• Enjoy the ride. It will be over sooner than later and you are going to miss this life. Do not let opportunities pass you by.-Jackson Beatty, Military Child of the Year ®, U.S. Marine Corps.

• Always venture out and try new activities. Know that you are supported and you have a foundation with every military kid. If you are struggling, or going through a hard time, know you can always turn to another military child!-Molly Frey, Military Child of the Year ®, National Guard.

Throughout the next week, we will be sharing with you the stories of these seven accomplished young men and women that excel in scholarship, volunteerism, leadership, extracurricular involvement, and other criteria while facing the challenges of military family life. Be sure to check back with us, and tune in on our Facebook page as we broadcast LIVE from the Military Child of the Year ® awards gala in Alexandria, VA on April 6.

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This week, we are pleased to share some very good news with you: Operation Homefront received its 10th consecutive 4-star rating from the nation’s largest and most-utilized evaluator of charities, Charity Navigator. The latest rating means Operation Homefront is one of only 80 charities nationwide to receive ten or more consecutive 4-star ratings, placing us in the top one percent of all charities. Charity Navigator bases its rating analysis on a charity’s financial health, accountability and transparency and this exceptional designation sets Operation Homefront apart from its peers and demonstrates its trustworthiness to the public.

We are proud to be consistently recognized for superior performance by leading independent charity oversight groups. In addition to the 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, Operation Homefront has received an “A” Rating from CharityWatch, earned the Platinum GuideStar Nonprofit Profile Seal of Transparency, and meets all 20 Accountability Standards of the Better Business Bureau. For two years in a row, Consumer Reports has included Operation Homefront in its annual list of “Best Charities for Your Donations.” You can read the full story at http://www.consumerreports.org/charities/best-charities-for-your-donations/

We highlight these ratings as our pledge to you, our donors and community, that we take transparency and accountability seriously at Operation Homefront.

Operation Homefront is funded entirely through the support of our donors, large and small and we receive no federal funding. We know that your time and money is valuable, and we want you to know that when you give to Operation Homefront, it will go where it is needed the most:

• A repair or modification on the home of a wounded, ill, or injured service member.
• To fix the car of a military family that breaks down during deployment.
• To help pay the rent or mortgage for a post-9/11 veteran family facing unexpected financial issues.
• To do what is needed to make sure that our nation’s military families will thrive, not simply struggle to get by, in the communities they worked so hard to protect. Your gift helps us fulfill this important mission.

92 percent of Operation Homefront’s expenditures go directly to program delivery and services that have meaningful and measurable impact on real people:

• The Back-to-School Brigade has delivered over a quarter million backpacks with supplies to military children across the nation since the program began in 2008.
• Since 2010, the Holiday Meals for Military program has served 70,000 military families — feeding over 308,000 individual family members.
• In 2016, we provided more than $3.7 million in critical financial assistance grants to over 2,100 families who hit a bump in the road and needed help with rent or mortgage payments, major home or car repairs, utility bills or buying food for their families.
• Since 2011, we have provided over $20 million dollars in financial assistance and fulfilled more than 35,000 military family requests.
• Since 2012, our Homes on the Homefront program welcomed nearly 600 military families into their mortgage-free homes, granting them with well over $48 million in home equity.
• In 2016, 89.4% of military family clients agreed or strongly agreed that our Critical Assistance Program made them feel stronger, stable, and more secure.

We’re making a difference while being trusted stewards of every donor dollar.

Our vision is to be the provider of choice for military families when they need short-term, critical relief, long-term resiliency, or recurring family support throughout the year – and we can’t do this without you. We hope that by sharing the good news of both our charity oversight ratings and our impact on families that you will know that we deliver on our promise to you – and to the families we serve. If you would like to receive our annual report and the latest news regarding our events and programs, please sign up for our mailing list on our website at operationhomefront.org (sign-up at bottom of the page). Or you can make a donation here.

One of our core values is Gratitude. As a conduit by which many Americans show their appreciation for all that our military community does on our behalf, we are grateful to all who help us accomplish our mission. This means we are always mindful that we have a duty to YOU to ensure that every dollar spent is spent wisely and put to good use serving military families.

THANK YOU for your support of our mission.

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