Information has long been mankind’s greatest asset. From our prehistoric ancestors knowing where the find food to our neighbor knowing where to score the best deal on a computer, knowledge has been the cornerstone of living a better life. Rarely handed to us, the best information comes through study and research. The same holds true when it comes to making a better life for military and veteran families. Blue Star Families takes that idea a step further by connecting the research and data they collect to programs and solutions to help military and veteran families thrive.
It’s About Supporting Military Families
Founded in 2009 by current CEO Kathy Roth-Douquet and several other military spouses, Blue Star Families wanted to give a voice to the daily challenges faced by military families. Despite the fact that no one is in a better position to communicate those challenges, the needs of military families are often overlooked when the DoD or Congress make changes to regulations or laws governing military life. “Military families often do not have a seat at the table when it comes to influencing the decisions that impact their ability to thrive,” says Blue Star Families’ Communication Manager Bana Miller. “We help channel our community’s voice through our surveys and use that data to highlight the needs of the families of our service members.”
In the past seven years, Blue Star Families has seen its influence grow. Through national events and programs like Blue Star Museums, the organization has touched the lives of more than 1.5 million military families and distributed more than $7 million dollars in benefits to its members.
The Power of Information
Covering topics from spouse employment to financial readiness to life during and after transition, the annual Blue Star Families Lifestyle Survey has proven itself a conduit into the state of the military community. Additional research helps discover and explore new challenges faced by military families and helps to unite the military families with their larger civilian communities. “Our research drives our collaborative efforts to bring together nonprofit organizations, corporations, and policymakers to build connected communities that serve military families,” adds Bana. “We are actively working to bridge and eliminate the military-civilian divide.” The 2016 Blue Star Families Lifestyle Survey is currently being compiled and release is expected in December. The research from both 2015 and 2014 can be found on the Blue Star Families website.
Get Involved & Get Connected
Blue Star Families is a virtual workplace, with staff and volunteers across the country and around the world. They currently have more than 50 chapters nationwide and are looking to expand into Chicago, IL, Camp Pendleton, CA, Colorado Springs, CO, Jacksonville, FL, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA, and the Washington, D.C. area. Anyone interested in volunteering with the organization can get more information on the Blue Star Families website. You can also find them on Twitter and on Facebook.