National Guard and military reserve families have unique challenges, especially when their service member is deployed. Guard and reserve families don't always live near military bases, and so can't take advantage of the programs offered on-base. Plus, activation and deployment often means a decrease in the family's income.
The charitable group Our Military Kids addresses these challenges with a special program that funds sports, fine arts, camps and tutoring for the children of certain deployed National Guard and reserve military members.
Note: Our Military Kids offers the same program for children of severely injured military members and veterans.
EligibilityEligibility for these grants is pretty clear:
- The National Guard/Reserve service member must be deployed overseas (OCONUS);
- The deployment must be at least 180 days (or 120 days for Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve);
- There must be at least 60 days remaining on the orders at the time of application (or 30 days for the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve);
- The child must be at least 5 years old, but not older than a senior in high school (children become ineligible once they have graduated high school);
- The child must be a dependent of the service member.
What Is CoveredGrants are approved for sports, fine arts, camps and tutoring. The grant may be up to $500, and may cover up to six months of an activity. Grant approvals are always subject to the availability of funds.
How To ApplyApplications are available online and include instructions for submission. Applications must include the following documentation (from the website:)
1. A copy of deployment orders which show that the child’s parent is National Guard or Reserve deployed overseas and has at least 60 days remaining on the orders;
2. One of three forms of identification – either A) a copy of the completed Form 1172, Application for Uniformed Services Identification (DEERS Form), OR B) a copy of the child’s birth certificate if he/she is the biological child of the deployed service member, OR C) copy of DEERS/MilConnect Service Member profile page with child listed as dependent;
3. Documentation of the cost of the activity, such as a flyer, brochure, or a letter from the organization which clearly states the cost of the program. Letters must be typed (hand written fees will not be accepted) and on official letterhead. Grant requests for tutoring services provided by an individual must include a copy of the tutor’s teaching certificate.
This generous program can make a great difference in the life of a National Guard or reserve child dealing with a challenging situation. If you're not using the program, consider making a donation to help Our Military Kids continue this valuable program.
If you have received a grant from Our Military Kids, I'd love to hear what your kids and you think!