It's getting colder outside, but the Blue Star Moms of Marin are determined to bring warmth to military veterans and their families during the holiday season.
Who needs this help?
- A previously homeless 30-year-old veteran of the Iraq war, his wife and 9-year-old stepson face hardship because the man's temporary employment just ended. He reached out to social workers to see if there was possibly some help for Christmas. The boy (size 10-12) needs a warm winter jacket, pants, shirts, and size 4 sneakers.
- A 34-year-old man who served in Iraq is taking classes at Santa Rosa Junior College and hopes to transfer to a four-year school. He has wife who was recently laid off from her work, so they and their 2-year-old daughter are subsisting on his GI bill money.
- A mother, father and 9-year-old son were homeless for a year. The man has been unemployed for two years but actively looking for work. They are on limited income and his unemployment benefits will end Dec. 31.
- A 36-year-old single mom, who served in Iraq as a medic, was injured and suffers from PTSD. She is attending Sonoma State and working toward a nursing degree. Her only income at this time is her partial VA disability pension. She has a 2-year-old and wants to make this a special Christmas.
Assess your situation. You're probably in position to help them, even just a little, right?
"We hope that you can join us in this effort to show these veterans that we appreciate what they have sacrificed and want to help them in this difficult time," said Barbara Bochner, the Blue Star Moms' chapter president.
The group, which includes many members from Novato, is working with the social workers at the Veterans Administration to help show veterans that they are appreciated for their service and not forgotten. How are they doing it? By coordinating an Adopt a Family collection by collecting gift cards and other items.
You can help by dropping donations off at Travis Remodeling, 401-D Bel Marin Keys Blvd., in Novato or by mailing a check to Blue Star Moms of Marin, P.O. Box 5684, Novato CA 94948.
"The colder weather and the wish to provide for their families at the holidays can be tough on veterans when struggling to make ends meet," said Marilyn Spoja of the Blue Star Moms. "They deserve our support in their time of need."
The Blue Star Moms are a group of mothers of children serving or having served in the military, and their mission is to support U.S. troops, their families and veterans. The organization welcomes the participation of anyone who wants to contribute.
With the Adopt a Family program — which aided families during the Thanksgiving season as well — social workers select the families most in difficulty to be the recipients of decorated gifts baskets. They will be presented to the families by Dec. 14.