Military families know a lot about what it means to rise to the challenge. While service members are doing their job protecting our country, their families are standing up and handling all the things at home. The COVID-19 crisis is adding new challenges to the list of things that must be handled. Militaries families are not strangers to difficult situations. They know uncertainty. They live in uncertainty. They plan and plan only to have plans change because of the needs of our country. They pack and unpack and single parent and hold down the fort while the service member is away. They plan homecomings and overseas moves and holidays without loved ones. They work hard to make new friends and build community at each new duty station with each additional PCS. They make it look easy.
It is not easy.
Military families know difficult situations, but they also know how to rise to the challenge. They know that feeling connected makes it easier to handle challenges. They know that when their kids are grounded and supported, they learn how to thrive in any situation. That’s what we mean when we say we’re strengthening our military family. We’re offering opportunities to connect and opportunities to grow and strengthen those skills of resilience and determination.
At the Armed Services YMCA of Hampton Roads, our work has always been about supporting military kids and families through difficult situations. Our programs meet military kids and families where they are. We understand that multiple moves in a child’s early development puts military kids at a disadvantage for excelling in kindergarten. Operation Little Learners was developed to meet the needs of these early learners. The program provides opportunities for cognitive and social growth for toddlers and preschoolers. Parents are given the opportunity to connect to a network of other parents dealing with the same challenges, while also learning strategies to support their children’s growth. In this time of separation and physical distance, we have created an online community to meet our families where they are, and our Little Learners are THRIVING at home.
As military kids age, they are expected to handle even more; multiple moves, changing schools, making new friends and prolonged separations from parents. Each of those things is hard, but put them all together and it’s a near-impossible thing we’re asking of those kids. Operation Hero is a program created specifically for elementary school aged military kids. Through engaging, interactive lessons, facilitators help students learn the importance of what their military parent does and skills to help in their daily life. While gaining a deeper understanding and respect for their parents’ demanding service, they also come to realize their essential role in their family. They meet other kids who understand what they’re going through and build relationships that root them in connection.
We know how important it is to have opportunities to practice these skills and a supportive space to build relationships. We believe that all military families should have the same access, so we provide these programs at no cost. The work we do is important in the best of times. In these uncertain times, it is critically important, and we need your help to keep doing it. The economic impact of this crisis means that we may not be able to continue to provide our programs at no cost to our military family. In order to continue to provide Operation Little Learners, Operation Hero, Family Readiness Group support and all of our other programs...
WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT.
If you’ve ever considered donating to support the life-improving services we offer or have previously given, today is the day we need you to step forward. Today, COVID-19 has the nation at a standstill. Yet, we are still finding ways to meet our community where they are. We have created an online version of Operation Little Learners that provides twice weekly videos, activities and crafts. Our after school enrichment program has been remade to provide emergency child care so our essential personnel can continue their important work knowing their children are safe and supported.
We will continue to find ways to support our community in Hampton Roads throughout this crisis, as long as we are able. Our military family depends on us. We need your support to rise to this challenge. Can we count on your help? Would you be willing to make a gift of $25 to ensure that we can continue to provide these programs and services to our military family? Every dollar gets us closer to that goal. Can we count on you?
Yes! I want to make a difference...
Posted April 22, 2020
ABOUT ARMED SERVICES YMCA:
The Armed Services YMCA is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit that serves currently serving military members and their families. In 2019, we engaged more than 250,000 participants and delivered more than 1.3 million points of service to junior enlisted Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, Airmen, Coast Guardsmen and family members at 200 service centers in 18 states. Whether providing respite child care for parents in need, summer camps for kids, or assisting with emergency needs, the Armed Services YMCA is a nonprofit with a mission: Strengthening Our Military Family®. Visit our website to see how you can join us in supporting military families.