When a military parent is deployed, childhood can feel anything but “normal.” National Guard and Reserve families face additional challenges: without a military base community, unexpected deployments disrupt family life – not to mention finances. Our Military Kids provides small grants to help these families, as well as those of wounded warriors, pay for extracurricular activities when a parent is overseas or injured in combat. Just a few hundred dollars, paid directly to the organization providing the activity, allows a child to go to summer camp, play on a baseball team, or work with a tutor – modest but powerful gifts during a difficult time. An award kit (complete with personalized dog tags) welcomes each participant to the vast community of children who have, collectively, received more than 65,000 grants since 2004. Large or small, all gifts here make a difference.
Recognizing the additional stress on school-aged military children, Our Military Kids launched HONOR120, which expands grant eligibility during the 120 days leading to Veteran's Day 2020, including: awarding second activity grants to children whose parents are deployed overseas with the National Guard or Reserve; expanding the age-range eligibility for all programs to include three-and-four-year olds; introducing grants for children of Guard and Reserve service members who are activated stateside or on Southwest Border Patrol missions. The first 60 days of the campaign saw a surge of grant applications from military children and more are expected.