Kids Of America's Heroes are many things: diverse, resilient, flexible, patriotic, and worldly are all labels that have been thrown around. But at the end of the day, they are children. For many of our Kids Of America's Heroes, they will be spending this holiday season missing one or more important people from their dinner tables.
Luckily, there are many ways to provide support!
Find out if mom or dad will be deployed over Winter Break. If so, work with the student or family to create a class care package. Fill a big box with essentials: warm socks, disposable razors, hydrating hand lotion, holidays cards for troops to send back home, pictures and cards from the class, and a big bag of candy. The deployed service member(s) will feel loved, and secure in the knowledge that their child has support back home.
Friends and peers can help by simply being there. Invite your friends to a virtual cookie swap, or holiday movie marathon. Check out holiday lights. Even just offering a virtual hug or smile on a tough day can be enough to show a military connected child that their friends understand and are there.
During the holiday season being surrounded by family is part of the tradition for many families. So many military families are stationed far from home, whether that is across the country or around the world. For families who are far from loved ones, knowing that the folks back home are thinking of them can be just a boost they need.
Arrange a Zoom party on or around the holiday or send a video message. Even if it is just for a few minutes, it will help to build that connection.
Another great idea is to send a holiday card or care package. It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive. Just sending some treats can be fun. Or you could send a few books for the kids or candy or even a small craft. Another great gift to consider sending is Troop on the Stoop or ZZZ Bears - Any way that you can build that family connection will be helpful, and provide diversions for the kids.
Studies have shown that children who have parents in the military have a higher likelihood to have depression than children whose parents are not in the military. We believe that we can help ease the loneliness some kids experience by reaching out to them while their parent(s) is deployed.
At Kids Of America’s Heroes, guardians can register military kids for Free cards and trinkets to send to military kids whose parent(s) are Active Duty, Deployed National Guard or Reserve. Each KOAH Hugs care package includes a letters from those who want to thank military kids for their sacrifice register Military-connected Kids for here.
This is the perfect opportunity for the community to get involved. Whether you are work colleagues, attend the same church, or have kids in the same class, you can help a military family feel more at home. One idea is to invite them to celebrate virtually with you!
Groups could organize a meal for delivery to veterans, or military families, or single service members. Groups (and families) could also create holiday care packages for deployed troops. Signing up to volunteer at your local USO is also a great way to give back and offer support.
Long Distance Caring
The majority of our country doesn’t serve in the military. In fact, less than 1% of the US population is currently serving. That means that 99% of us are not in the military; many of us don’t have a connection to the military. This doesn’t mean that you can’t support our troops, and their families.
If you are looking for something beyond just the holiday season, check out KOAH! We are an excellent charity that provide comfort for Kids Of America's Heroes throughout the holidays and all year through.