Faith, Community Groups Have Role to Play in Supporting Military Families
First Lady Michelle Obama mentioned numerous ways faith and community groups can participate in the Joining Forces initiative, during a call last week with 1,800 group leaders.
Obama said community volunteers don’t have to be experts in military family issues to make a difference, according to a posting on the First Lady’s Joining Forces blog by Alexia Kelley, deputy director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
Community leaders should offer the assistance that they can best provide, such as family counseling programs, a youth ministry or a career mentoring program that is already in existence, the First Lady said. Other examples of support mentioned:
- Ensuring that existing ministries and services are accessible to military families and veterans;
- Start a new ministry or service for military families or veterans, or partner with an existing program in your community;
- Coordinate a once-a-year fair, an event or some kind of service activity that is focused on military families; and
- Help raise awareness about the issues and challenges that military families and veterans face, as well as their service and strengths that some of their neighbors may not fully be aware of.
The Joining Forces initiative, spearheaded by Obama and Jill Biden, is intended to mobilize all sectors of society to support service members and their families, with an emphasis on the issues of employment, education and wellness.