November and December are full of excitement and busy schedules. These are also times of increase in cost burden. There are holiday meals, presents, and travel over the holidays that add stress to families and their budget for families. Add in the stress of deployments and work0ups, it can be a lot for military families to take. There are two organizations that want to express their thanks to military families with holiday meals and toys for military children.
Operation Homefront – Holiday Meals
Operation Homefront’s Holiday Meals program was born out of a chance meeting a military family in a grocery store. The military family didn’t have enough money to cover the groceries on the conveyor belt and began to take items off when the person behind them gave them the money to cover the cost. That person was Ken Ruff, Vice President for National Accounts at Beam Suntory. After that, Ken presented to the Beam Suntory leadership the idea of partnering with Operation Homefront for a holiday meal program for military families like the one he helped in the grocery store in November of 2009. The program has grown since then to include more sponsors and volunteers to support a vast number of military families across the United States.
The Holiday Meal event is open to– Active Duty, Guard, and Reserve, post 9/11 wounded, ill, or injured service members actively serving and no longer serving in the military and transitioning service members within 12 months of their discharge. Some events restrict the rank to E1-E6, some are open to all ranks so be sure to check out the details for the event nearest you. Events are filling up, so make sure to check them out and sign up for the waitlist if interested.
To find a holiday meal drive near you, check out this page.
Operation Homefront – Holiday Toy Drive
The holiday toy drive from Operation Homefront extends the holiday spirit to the children of military service members that meet eligibility criteria. To be eligible to register for this event, check out the details specific to the event of interest. Some events are open to the service member must be E1-E6 active duty and some are open to all ranks. In most cases, all events are open to post 9/11 wounded, ill, or injured service members actively serving and no longer serving in the military.
These events are very popular and fill up quickly as they start at the beginning of December. Check the page to see if there is a local event near you. At the time of this writing events in Colorado are full, but events in New Orleans, select locations in California and North Carolina are open.
Donate to Operation Homefront
If you want to donate to Operation Homefront to support military families around the United States through their programs, donate here.
Soldier’s Angels – Adopt-A-Family
The Soldier’s Angels program is well-known for Treats for Troops, and also has an Adopt-A-Family program.
The program is open to all families of deployed service members, families of Post 9-11 wounded, ill and injured and veteran families enrolled in HUD/VASH programs.
– Deployed service members must not be scheduled to return from deployment prior to December 25, 2021, are E1-E6 rank, and demonstrate financial need
– Post 9-11 wounded, ill, or injured service members or veterans must have proof of wound, illness, or injury and demonstrate financial need
– a veteran family enrolled in the HUD/VASH program must provide a letter of eligibility and demonstrate financial need
How to Apply
Families need to register for an account on Soldier’s Angels and complete the requested documents.
If you are looking for a way to support a military family this year, you can register to adopt a military family this holiday season. By registering to adopt a family, you are committing to giving gifts for every child and a grocery gift card to assist the family with the cost of a holiday meal.