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Blue Star Families

Rating: 5 stars   10 reviews 2,137

Address:

Po Box 322 Falls Church VA 22040 USA

Mission:

Blue star families is committed to connecting one another through the unique challenges of military service and asking the larger civilian population to help as well, strengthening military families regardless of rank, branch of service or physical location, and leading military family members towards opportunities to build strength in individuals, families and communities. We accomplish this through local chapter-based community events and by serving as a bridge between families and support and service organizations that are striving to help make military life more sustainable. Through outreach and involvement with national and local organizations, civilian communities and government entities, blue star families works hand in hand to share the pride of service, promote healthier families, aid in our military readiness and contribute to our country's strength.

Target demographics:

military families

Programs:

Morale programs - bsf designs and delivers innovative programs that are geared for the military community. Blue star museums is a partnership between bsf, the national endowment for the arts, and 2,178 museums nationwide. The program runs from memorial day through labor day. Over 780,000 military family members visited a participating "blue star museum" in 2014. Books on bases is a program that facilitates the collection and distribution of new books to military children across the country as well as military impacted schools and libraries. With the support of generous partners, bsf has distributed over 185,000 books through this program since inception. Wounded warriors: blue star families hosts year-end holiday parties for all wounded warriors and their families as well as e-6 and below active duty service members and their families at locations in the washington dc area. The parties consist of afternoons with activities for the families and kids including face painting, building ginger bread houses, arts and crafts, singing, story time, while also providing food, beverages, and holiday gifts to all who joined us. Since the blue star theatres program debuted in september 2012, more than 105 theatres across the country are offering discounted tickets and special programming and workshops for military families, veterans, and active duty personnel. The blue star families fellowship is a partnership with corporations that provides military spouses with a paid position, serving both the sponsor corporation and bsf. Through this partnership, the fellows will acquire valuable leadership and volunteer management skills to assist in their role as a bsf chapter director as well as gain professional development opportunities via the sponsor corporation. The program is being developed to help address the widening unemployment gap amongst military spouses as identified by our blue star families' military lifestyle survey. As of december 31, 2014 bsf had placed 16 fellows in paid employment positions within bsf.

membership and chapters - bsf mission is to support, connect and empower military families to each other and in the communities where they live. Bsf does this through a chapter network that included 42 chapters. These chapters, led by volunteer chapter directors, reach out to local and state officials and military and community leaders to spread the word about military families and military issues.

research and policy - bsf, as part of its central mission to connect, engage and empower military families, conducts in-depth research on the issues that affect the military family community, using the information to inform military and civilian leaders at the national, state and local levels about the findings and to work collaboratively to find innovative and effective solutions. The annual military lifestyle survey is the principal vehicle through which these issues are identified. Active service members, spouses, veterans, and family members of active, reserve, and national guard participate in the survey. This country cares makes our military families and veterans aware that there is help and hope through a series of suicide prevention announcements featuring country music celebrities. The message is simple: "your family needs you, we need you. Thank you for your service. " the updated version of the reintegration toolkit titled "everyone serves" is expected to reach over 300,000 service member families as a downloadable e-book.

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More Info

(914) 672-7731
www.bluestarfam.org

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Reviews for Blue Star Families

Rating: 5 stars  

What a great organization! As a military family, we greatly appreciate everyone who steps up to help our troops and the families who serve. Thank you, Blue Start Families, for all you are doing for us!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I just came across the link to their FB page and look forward to getting more involved!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Great organization set-up from what I've seen, looking forward to learning more.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

My husband is retired military, his son is in the military and his daughter is married to a military man. They have all experienced long tours away from each other and their extended families.
When I moved to the Fort Leonard Wood area in MIssouri I knew that I wanted to be involved somehow with helping military men, women and families. When I came across the blue star family website I was impressed with all they do and wanted to get involved as a volunteer. I contacted them and met locally with their coordinator Meghan. She is married to a military man and is very excited about all the programs blue star family offered to our military families. Impressed with her compassionate and enthusiasm I knew I wanted to get involved.
I am now Operation Appreciation Coordinator in Missouri. I recieve letter and cards from all over the US and distribute them to our wonderful military families. People from all ages taking the time to sit down, create special cards, write heartwarming letters, braiding friendship bracelets, this has all been very emotional to me and very special. The thank you letters mean so much to a serviceman or women, a spouse of military , a child , a parent , a veteran or a military family. A letter can give hope, share love and make someone feel special.
I feel so happy that I have this opportunity to use my time to thank our military families- I have great respect for them and the sacrifices they give for their country.
My experience with this NPO has been empowering, giving me the chance to do something meaningful for our military families- a chance for me to say thank you in my own way.
I am grateful.....

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

receiving wonderful heartfelt letters from all ages and backgrounds. I have seen the sincere gratefullness from others- people do care and want to give thanks to our military families.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I have worked with this organization for 6 months now and cannot add anything to this category at this time.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

I've had the pleasure to be a part of the Blue Star Family team for over a year now. I must say that this organization has been so empowering and so helpful not just to me as a military spouse but for military families across the world. Their constant focus and strive for excellence in providing info, resources and assistance for the military community is to be highly commended.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Being able to connect with some amazingly strong and inspirational military families.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Make sure the entire world knows about them. :)

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

I LOVE BLUE STAR FAMILIES!! They do so much to support Military Families!! They always come up with great ideas, such as their Books For Bases Program and their Museum Events each year. They find unique ways to get the private and public sectors together to support our troops and their families. They work so hard on our behalf and for that I am forever grateful!! I am so proud to be a member of this amazing organization and will continue to support them any way I can! Thanks Blue Star Families for all you do for us!!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have taken advantage of their Museum program which allows Military Families the opportunity to visit various museums free of charge. I have also participated in the Military Life Survey which does so much in showing our nation's leaders what Military Families are facing and what we need improved.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I wouldn't change a thing! Keep doing what you are doing BSF!! Amazing organization!!

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

I choose to give my time and energy to Blue Star Families because I am continually blown away by the dedication, passion and integrity of the volunteers and the paid staffers. I have never been exposed to any charitable organization more committed to improving people's lives or to doing the absolute most with every dollar they receive. There is literally no limit on what can be accomplished by authentic, hard-working people who believe whole-heartedly in their mission — that's why in a few short years Blue Star Families has become the go-to military support group. I have worked with the Books on Bases program, Operation Appreciation/Honor Cards, the PSAs and helped in other BSF endeavors, as well and have yet to have an experience that I would describe as anything less than glowing.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

...seeing lives changed. Military families are often not recognized for our service and our sacrifices often go unnoticed by the greater public. Therefore, our needs also often go unmet. Blue Star Families has become the loudest voice in America for Military families and, because of that, our needs, sacrifices and successes are now being heralded by the White House and others. This has led to a direct improvement in the lives of EVERY military family in the United States.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

...encourage more people to volunteer and give money. BSF could do even more with more resources. But there is not one thing I would change about the organization itself.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

Blue Star Families continues to surprise me by its unwavering commitment and creativity in supporting military families. I met a member of BSF at a round-table discussion regarding changes to MyCAA about a year ago. We were at Congressman Nye's office sharing how the abrupt changes had impacted military spouses using the benefit. I was immediately impressed by the member and realized that BSF was a strong, realistic and relevant voice for military families. Since then I have volunteered with BSF's Operation Appreciation, attended events BSF supported and have requested BSF representation at military family events I plan. BSF's energy, innovation and dedication continue to win the support of military families who understand the importance of representation and advocacy for military families. BSF promotes resiliency and quality-of-life issues that positively influence the military community.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have personally benefited from BSF's representation and events. As I am in contact with numerous spouses daily, I have also witnessed their very positive response to Operation Appreciation, Books on Bases and its campaign for suicide prevention. The Blue Star Museum initiative truly demonstrated appreciation to military families for their sacrifices. Wow!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I cannot recommend any changes at this time. BSF is creative and quick to respond to new issues.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

None at this time. Each time I work with BSF I feel encouraged and valued.

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

Yes! I was introduced to new friends and encouraged to continue in my line of work.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

Beautiful, appreciated, relevant.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

I have personally seen the stellar support that BSF provides to military families and the impact it makes on the morale of the service members and their loved ones. The Books on Bases Program, which is tailored to encourage education and reading amongst military children, went out of their way to bring the program far from a base to my unit stationed on independent duty. It was reinforced to our unit kids that they are an important part of the military family and that their service too is vital. To know that BSF sees no boundaries, really speaks to the true character of their organization and reveals their true passion in supporting families no matter how far away they are. In addition, the Operation Appreciation program has allowed civilians to serve their troops with a simple thank you that speaks volumes. By allowing people to take pen to paper and share their feelings about what the service of the military means to them, it helps bridge the gap between our civilian and military communities. This organization works 24/7 to be a solid foundation for innovative programming for our community.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

their participation of my family readiness events- Books on Bases & Operation Appreciation. Also, my family will be attending museums for the Blue Star Museums program which we look forward to every year. No matter which duty station the Marine Corps takes us to, there is a museum that welcomes us through this program.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

The only change would be to make sure more people know about the amazing resources it provides

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

I think Blue Star FAmilies is simply terrific. I work at a private foundation in California that - in 2009- was looking for authentic and effective community-based organizations working to support our military families. Blue Star Families has been a grantee since 2009 and has demonstrated, repeatedly, an uncanny ability to use small grants efficiently and for incredibly leverage, and to operate as a nimble, innovative organization, staffed by military families.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have seen Blue Star Families, on a shoestring budget, get incredible visibility and impact to help military families.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

increase their staff size

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

Blue Star Families is a dynamic, high-impact organization that effortlessly navigates grass-roots engagement and services for military families with high-quality public awareness efforts. Their reach extends to Active Duty, Guard, and Reserve families across the force, as well as in DC, the Pentagon, the entertainment community, and elsewhere.

BSF is, as importantly, a joy to work with. We have partnered together on events, initiatives, and service projects involving senior members of the Administration, the Pentagon, and more. On every occasion the BSF team proved exceptionally talented, friendly, and flexible.

We will continue to work with BSF as long as they allow us to!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Seeing the impact that various BSF initiatives, ranging from Operation Honor Card, Operation Appreciation, Books on Bases, the Annual Survey, and more, and have had on the lives of servicemembers' families and public discourse around these issues.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Enhance it with additional resources so that it can continue to grow and do the amazing work it is already doing in so many communities.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

Blue Star Families is the most dynamic service organization I have ever known. This is one big family taking care of each other. Their sense of purpose and dedication to supporting each other is exemplary. They have done more in less time with the least amount of resources than any organization I am aware of. From "Books on Base" to Suicide Prevention Education and all of their other programs they have been laser focused on identifying real needs within the military family community, identifying real solutions that come from within the community and most importantly quickly and effectively deploying the solutions.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

So many ways. They have rapidly expanded their presence to almost all of the military bases stateside and around the world with volunteers. They have organized the most effective group of pure volunteers and with very little overhead have maintained two way communications worldwide.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

give it the resources to expand their efforts and increase their support of serving military families

 
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