April is Month of the Military Child. This month recognizes military children for the unique challenges they face on the home front. Military children endure separation from parents through deployment, frequent moves, and transitions. They may also witness their parents’ injuries when returning home from deployments, whether physically, emotionally, or mentally. Home front Military Network (HFMN) is thankful for the bravery of military children and seeks to support military families in Colorado through our excellent partner agencies. Many HFMN partner agencies have programs to directly benefit military children.
The American Red Cross hosts free Reconnection Workshops to help military and veteran families navigate through the stress of difficult transitions. The “Connecting with Kids” workshop helps parents connect with their children when going through challenging transitions.
Additionally, there are child and teen workshops that help military children improve their communication skills when dealing with family members or peers. These workshops also help enhance coping skills for handling stressful events, such as frequent moves or a parent being deployed. To find more workshop information, click HERE and search for your local Red Cross.
Angels of America’s Fallen (AoAF) is a nonprofit organization created to support the children of fallen service members, firefighters, and law enforcement. AoAF empowers children through activities such as sports, music, and creative arts as well as connecting children to positive mentors. AoAF allows children to try as many activities as they would like until they find something they are passionate about, providing financial support every year through 18 years old.
CASA of the Pikes Peak Region is a nonprofit organization that trains and supervises volunteers to represent the best interests of victims of child abuse, neglect, and severe domestic conflict. The organization’s volunteers are appointed by judges to be a voice for these children and ultimately place them in safe, loving homes. Click HERE to learn more about CASA or become a volunteer.
Non-married dependent children of U.S service members with a service-connected disability are eligible for Colorado Technical University’s Patriot Scholarship (CTU). Recipients of the CTU Patriot Scholarship will receive full tuition to any CTU on-campus or online degree program, a new laptop computer, all course materials and textbooks shipped free to their door, and a Dedicated Student Success Coach to stay with them through their entire college experience.
The scholarship can be used at any degree level, including an associate degree and PhD programs. The application window is currently OPEN and will close on June 30, 2023. All applicants must apply by June 30, 2023 to be considered. The applications will be vetted through a selection committee of prominent figures in the community, and 50 scholarship winners will be announced on Veteran’s Day. Scholarship winners can begin school at any time in the 2024 calendar year.
The Community Partnership for Child Development (CPCD) prepares at-risk and special needs children for success in school and life by offering free tuition and high-quality early childhood education. CPCD operates more than 65 classrooms in school districts 2, 3, 8, 11, 20, and 49, including a standalone facility with six classrooms on Fort Carson. To learn more about CPCD and their Head Start programs, click HERE.
Every year Operation Homefront hosts the nationwide Back-to-School Brigade® to provide free school supplies to military families. Additionally, every April, Operation Homefront announces their Military Child of the Year Award. The annual awards recognize outstanding young people ages 13 to 18 who have a parent in the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, National Guard, or Space Force. Award recipients are recognized at Operation Homefront’s April Gala, receive $10,000 each, a laptop, and other donated gifts. View the 2023 award recipients HERE.
The mission of Soldiers’ Angels is to provide aid, comfort, and resources to the military, veterans, and their families. Soldiers’ Angels offers a wide variety of programs and resources for veterans, families, those that are deployed, or wounded to support the military and veteran community through each stage of military service.
Soldiers’ Angels Adopt-A-Family holiday gift-giving program provides a holiday celebration for the children of military and veteran families. Soldiers’ Angels Baby Brigade provides virtual baby showers for expectant families of the military community. Click the link to register or volunteer for this incredible program.
StableStrides seeks to improve the well-being of individuals through a connection with horses to promote strong and healthy individuals, families, and communities. Services include physical, occupational and speech therapy, mental health, and adaptive riding. Over 250 veterans, active-duty service members, and their families come to StableStrides each year to work with horses. The therapists and instructors at StableStrides are trained in military culture and understand that veterans, service members, and their families have a different set of needs than the civilians they serve. The StableStrides programs are structured specifically to serve those needs.
The YMCA is a nonprofit organization that believes in bringing about meaningful change in individuals and communities. The YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region serves our military community with programs and services focusing on youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility.
Operation Kid Comfort is a program that eases the stress of a parent’s absence from the home by providing a free photo quilt for children six and younger and pillows for children seven and older. The quilt or pillows include photos of the child’s deployed parent printed onto the fabric. The quilt or pillow is then given to the child to play with, sleep with, or use to comfort them from the grief of missing their deployed parent. The YMCA also offers additional military discounts and financial assistance for military and veteran families.
Show your Support
Remember to wear purple on April 15th for Purple Up Day to show your support and recognition of military children near and far. Wearing purple is a visible way to show everyone you are thankful for the bravery and sacrifices military children make every day. Follow the links below for more resources for Month of the Military Child:
To learn more about how HFMN supports military children and their families year-round, give us a call at 719-577-7417 or send us a message at https://pikespeak.co.networkofcare.org/veterans/content.aspx?id=6533.