National Military Family Month
Our service members undergo many sacrifices fighting for the United States and many don’t realize the hardships military families go through as well. Military families face disparities such as moving from base to base, losing a loved one, having a loved one deployed for months, or dealing with long-term physical and emotional wounds.
Every November, our nation recognizes National Military Family Month which supports and shows appreciation to the military and their families for their sacrifices. To mark the occasion, American military families are honored through various ceremonies and events that thank them for their commitment.
There are many local and national services provided to show appreciation during Military Family Month. Here are a few:
- Download a ‘Military Family Month’ packet from the Armed Services YMCA at www.asymca.org. The packet typically contains: a Military Family Month Poster; a Message from the President; a letter from the National Executive Director of the ASYMCA; Military Family Month Program Suggestions; and Guidelines for the annual art and essay contests;
- Sesame Street for Military Families Free App – Addresses topics such as deployments, homecoming, self-expression and injuries;
- Military children can find comfort in a free custom made photo transfer quilt or pillow through this program for children of deployed service members – Operation Kid Comfort;
- Many Military Families are eligible for a free YMCA or Private Fitness membership through the YMCA- DoD Initiative with the Armed Services YMCA;
- Sears Heroes provides gift cards for military families at Home Registry Sign ups. Signups usually happen in Late Fall- Sears Heroes;
- Home Depot offers a 10% in-store discount for those with valid military ID; or
- College campuses with ROTC units may host parades featuring trainee Reserve officers marching, displaying the colors, holding drills, etc.
If you would like to increase awareness and provide support to the military community, here are some suggestions.
- Donate a Thanksgiving gift to junior-enlisted members and their families through the USO-Metro’s Turkeys for Troops;
- Create a Spouse or Service Member Care Package with items that would help either ease stress during a deployment;
- Adopt-a-Soldier for the Holidays;
- Create a spouse care package for
them to enjoy and help reduce stress during
training, deployment, and PCS moves and relocations;
- Thank an Active-Duty Member, Veteran, Military Spouse, or Military Child for their service;
- Visit war memorials with your family to teach your children the value of service;
- Fly the U.S. Flag;
- Adopt a military family for the holidays by sponsoring a Food Basket or Toys for junior enlisted military families through the ASYMCA’s Operation Holiday Joy;
- Visit a veteran receiving care in a VA hospital or nursing home;
- Offer a military neighbor a bit of respite with volunteer childcare to get errands accomplished or to even enjoy a few hours to recharge;
- See someone in uniform? Thank them for their service or surprise them with a free coffee, dessert or drink if they are in line behind you; or
- Make a donation or volunteer with a military assistance organization like the Armed Services YMCA.
Excerpt from the 2019 Presidential Proclamation
“Each warrior who fights for our Nation, along with their families, has earned our eternal gratitude, and I ask that all Americans thank and support them. Together, we remain committed to fostering a national community of support for these brave heroes and their families.”
Read the full proclamation here .
National Family Caregivers Month
Each year in November, the nation shines a light on family caregivers in the United States. Since the 2000s, presidents have designated November as National Family Caregivers Month to honor the 40 million caregivers across the country who support aging parents, ill spouses or other loved ones with disabilities who remain at home.
This year’s theme is “Caregiving Around the Clock.”
Excerpt from the 2019 Presidential Proclamation
“This November, we recognize and honor the commitment of those who exemplify the essential American tenets of devotion to family and compassion toward those who matter most in our lives. Through caregivers’ generosity, our vulnerable communities are able to fully experience the many blessings of our great Nation.”
Read the full proclamation here.
Veterans Day is a federal holiday observed annually on November 11 and is a tribute to military men and women who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. Throughout history, military service members have put on their uniforms to protect our country by dedicating their time to active duty. This Veteran’s Day, we honor the men and women who have worn their uniform who continue to serve our country.
The theme for the 2019 Veterans Day Poster is: “Service”
If you need a veterans ID, click here.
World Kindness Week
Over 28 nations are involved in the World Kindness Movement. Through the years, World Kindness Day evolved into an entire week of kindness. World Kindness Week is celebrated during the second week of November, beginning on Monday and ending on Sunday.
Here are some ways to participate:
- Write notes of kindness on small pieces of paper and stick them in random library books
- Hand out notes of encouragement wherever you go, including the grocery store, coffee shop, etc;
- Offer to do an errand for someone like walking their dog or helping them with groceries;
- Cook dinner for a friend and bring it to their home;
- Give notes of appreciation to family members, coworkers, and service providers;
- Pay for someone’s meal at a restaurant;
- Pay for the coffee or meal of the person behind you at the drive-thru;
- Give someone, or several people, a hug; or
- Encourage others to be kind
Come up with your own creative kindness ideas on social media and share using #WorldKindnessWeek when sharing on social media.
World Kindness Day
World Kindness Day is celebrated annually on November 13 in attempt to make the world a better place by celebrating and promoting good deeds and pledging acts of kindness either as individuals or organizations.
Here is one way to participate:
Examples of random acts of kindness:
- Pay it backwards: Buy coffee for the person behind you in line
- Compliment the first three people you talk to today
- Send a positive text message
- Post inspirational sticky notes around your office
- Write a kind message on the mirror
- Practice self-kindness
- Visit the elderly
National Philanthropy Day
This day signifies the importance of working together for the common good. Philanthropists are honored for their many contributions, help and good deeds that they have made in our lives and our communities. National Philanthropy Day is celebrated on November 15 each year. President Reagan first proclaimed November 15 as National Philanthropy Day in 1986, and communities all throughout the world have celebrated the importance of this occasion ever since.
International Fraud Awareness Week
International Fraud Awareness Week officially kicks off Sunday, November 11 and is a perfect opportunity for you to educate your community on this growing problem and how to proactively fight fraud.
Many companies will be engaging in various activities during the week, including: hosting fraud awareness training for employees and the community, assessing fraud knowledge and risk factors within their organization, posting articles on company websites and in newsletters, and teaming with local media to highlight the problem of fraud.
International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women
Violence against women and girls is the one of the most widespread violations of human rights. To raise awareness and trigger action, the globe observes International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women every November 25. This day is commemorated around the world, providing individuals and groups a chance to mobilize and call attention to the urgent need to end violence against women and girls.
Below are cards to use on social media. This year’s theme is #OrangeTheWorld
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Lone Star Legal Aid is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit law firm focused on advocacy on behalf of low-income and underserved populations. Lone Star Legal Aid serves the millions of people at 125% of federal poverty guidelines that reside in 72 counties in the eastern and Gulf Coast regions of Texas, and 4 counties of southwest Arkansas. Lone Star Legal Aid focuses its resources on maintaining, enhancing, and protecting income and economic stability; preserving housing; improving outcomes for children; establishing and sustaining family safety and stability, health and well‐being; and assisting populations with special vulnerabilities, like those who have disabilities, or who are elderly, homeless, or have limited English language skills. To learn more about Lone Star Legal Aid, visit our website at www.lonestarlegal.org.
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