Thank you, thank you, thank you! Our military families rely on the support of donors like you to help provide a sense of connection, resources, and a helping hand. Whether facing a deployment, extended training, relocation, or financial hardship, the military lifestyle places unique and repeated strains on our service families. Through free or low-cost programs and services, the Armed Services YMCA (ASYMCA) addresses those challenges of military life so that no family is left behind.
Alleviating Food Insecurity
The last few years have been especially difficult for our military families with the rising costs of everyday goods. In fact, a staggering one in three junior-enlisted families reported facing food insecurity1 - the lack of regular access to safe and nutritious food. During the pandemic, the ASYMCA distributed over 3.5 million pounds of food to 100,000 military families through Neighborhood Exchanges and emergency food relief programs.2 Military family food insecurity continues in 2022 and beyond as families struggle with nationwide economic hardships.
“We are going through a very tough time…we have never needed any kind of help like this before and were scared to even ask for help but had no choice. It was so refreshing to be able to have food in the fridge and not worry about what we would do for diapers.” - Military Spouse
Your donation to the ASYMCA can mean the world to a military family when it helps put food on the table and meet their basic needs.
Providing Youth Development and Childcare Services
On average, military children are transferred 6 to 9 times before they reach their senior year of high school and 1 in 4 experience distress associated with parental deployments.3 Operation Hero, ASYMCA’s free after-school program for military children in grades 2-8, provides adaptive strategies designed to build resiliency and form strong bonds with peers. These life skills help to serve the student not only immediately, but well beyond the bounds of the program.
Operation Little Learners
The greatest gains in learning occur between ages 2-5.4 That’s why ASYMCA’s Operation Little Learners targets that special time by providing interactive early educational opportunities while fostering the relationship between parents and children. Participants engage in activities that enhance critical cognitive, emotional, social and motor skills, as well as academics that prepare them for kindergarten. The program also connects military families to create a support network.
“Operation Little Learners supports military families by providing parents the opportunity to access and build a community of support… Parents have a place and people to vent to, ask for advice, form friendships, and network.”
Read more about how one military family found support and enrichment through Operation Little Learners here.
The ASYMCA offers high-quality, affordable childcare and preschool programs for military children aged 0-5 to help set them up for academic success. They also provide staffed children’s waiting rooms at select military hospitals and clinics, allowing junior-enlisted service members and their families to make health and well-being a priority. This unique military program improves access to health care by removing lack of child care as a barrier. When families have the ability to drop off their children inside a hospital or clinic for no or low-cost child care, they are more likely to attend scheduled appointments.
Over 23,000 children were served in 2021 alone and more than 70% of military parents using these vital programs would not have had a comparable option if the ASYMCA did not offer childcare.5 This adds much-needed peace of mind for overwhelmed parents, while providing enrichment for children who attend. Affordable child care also can increase a military family’s financial security and well-being, allowing service members to stay focused on their mission, and providing spouses and partners the opportunity to work and pursue education.
Donors and supporters like you have made these services and programs possible. We could not do what we do without you! On behalf of our military families, our staff, and our volunteers, thank you for your support!
All statistics attributed to ASYMCA
1 ASYMCA Food Security Fact Sheet 2022
2 ASYMCA Overview Sheet
3 Operation Hero Fact Sheet 2022
4 Operation Little Learners Fact Sheet 2022
5 Child Care Fact Sheet 2022