Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Operation Military Kids - 52 Weeks of Giving - Week 49

For the 49th week of the 52 Weeks of Giving, Sophia and Olivia participated in Operation: Military Kids - Minnesota. The organization helps military kids cope with their loved ones' deployment.

According to the brochure about Operation: Military Kids (OMK), "When Minnesota National Guard or Reserve members receive orders to serve overseas, the children of these women and men experience unique stressors in their daily lives including fear of the unknown, concern  for the safety of their deployed parents, less parent involvement, more responsibilities, and few friends who understand what they are experiencing."

4-H Service Project
Karen, the club's 4-H leader, explained the
monthly service project and OMK to the children.

Currently, there are over 15,000 Minnesota youth who have a loved one in the military. Minnesota has one of the 50 branches of the OMK program. On the average, it offers 86 recreational and educational programs involving over 2,900 youth. 

One of the things that OMK offers are Hero Packs. OMK describes the Hero Packs as "a tangible way for the community to thank military youth for the sacrifices they make while their loved ones are deployed.

OMK partner agencies and commuity donations help fill "sling bags [that] contain items designed to keep youth connected to deployed loves ones.  Included are envelopes, stationary, disposable cameras, HERO pins, and journals. A handwritten letter to the military youth recipient from a non-military youth personalizes the expression of support."
Sophia Writing for 4-H Service Project
Sophia writing a note for a Hero Pack.

So, before the 4-H meeting began, each of the club members (including Sophia and Olivia) wrote 1-2 letters that will be included in the Hero Packs.

Writing for 4-H Service Project
Olivia writing a note for a Hero Pack.

Both the National and Minnesota 4-H programs support Operation: Military Kids - Minnesota. For more information about the program, visit the OMK website.

1 comment:

Rita said...

What an inspired program! It has to be a difficult thing to deal with for all those children. Thanks for sharing and for being a part of it.