Tuesday, December 3, 2013

A 'Holiday Salute To Military Families' with Walmart {#GivingTuesday #sponsored}

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Walmart for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

During Christmas 2010, my family found ourselves in a situation that many military families experience, though most would hope to avoid. My husband was four months into a year long deployment to Afghanistan, and we were seperated through the holidays. As a military family, deployments are unfortunately an inevitable part of life and while they are difficult regardless of the time of year they fall, the holidays always seem to be the worst. What is supposed to be a joyous time to be shared with family instead serves as a painful reminder that the family cannot be together that year. Routine is key for children to survive a deployment (particularly for children with Autism like my son), so in an effort to keep it as normal as possible for my son, we went home to visit family as we always did...but to keep things exciting for my train loving kid, we made the cross country trip from California to Illinois via Amtrak. For a child who loved trains as much as my son, it was an absolute dream come true and certainly helped keep his mind off of the deployment. Still, as fun an adventure as it was, it still did not entirely make up for Daddy being gone. The reality is, nothing can truly make it 100% better, but there are some great programs available that can bring a smile to military families through this difficult time.

After the hustle and bustle of trying to grab those holiday deals is over, Giving Tuesday- a day focused on charity and giving back- is a great way to kick off the holiday season and remember the true spirit of the season. If you're looking to give back in some way on Giving Tuesday, but were unsure who to give back to, the military and their families are a great place to start. Not only are the holidays an emotionally trying time for military families, they can also be quite financially draining as well as families travel home to spend the holidays with their extended families. This year, Walmart is doing all they can to ease some of those stresses through their 'Holiday Salute to Military Families' initiative, through which they hope to 'ease these burdens with $2 million in grants for toys, meals and lodging assistance to those military families with the greatest need of support this year. The donation will also help hundreds of active duty service members come home for the holidays to be reunited with their loved ones. ' They are also partnering with two wonderful organizations to make the holidays a little brighter for military families this season.

Through a $500,000 donation to Fisher House, Walmart has funded 50,000 nights of lodging so that family members of wounded servicemembers can stay close to their loved ones. Amazing! They have also donated $1.5 million to an outstanding organization that does SO much for military families, Operation Homefront. This will provide more than 25,000 toys  for military children, provide over 17,000 meals for military families and even fly over 500 servicemembers home so that they can spend the holidays with family! As a military wife, I cannot express enough how truly grateful we are for these amazing programs and Walmart's contribution.

If you are looking for a way to give back to the military on this Giving Tuesday, you can Join in our Holiday Salute to Military Families by supporting Walmart, Fisher House and Operation Homefront. Unfortunately, I know that not everyone is able to donate themselves, but that doesn't mean you can't help. Share this blog post via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc and tag the special military member that you are grateful to have in your life. (Feel free to use the hashtag #GivingTuesday.) Spread the word and make this the BEST Giving Tuesday ever!

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  1. Found you on BlogLovin' - adorable site! You're right - on the good days life does feel like a fairy tale ;)

  2. Thank you for the info....what a great idea especially during the holidays.


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