Life's been crazy this year -- "unprecedented times" kind of crazy.
Some military spouses are coming up on their sixth month of living out of suitcases, while waiting for a move. Some are debating whether to send their children to school next month, and others are just plain weary.
But many are still taking the time to make the world a better place.
One thing that many military spouses and families have been missing lately is a sense of community. Some had it before the stay-at-home orders rolled out, and some didn't. Others had it, then moved across the country and weren't able to recreate the community they desire.
A group of military spouses is looking to fix that. The Inspire Up Foundation, together with 2017 Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year Brittany Boccher's Discovering Your Spark program, is giving away 50 #SparkandInspire boxes, each valued at $100. Military spouses and first responder spouses can sign up with no obligation through July 31 at 11:59 pm CT; the winners will be announced Aug. 1.
"These boxes were really important to us to develop, especially with the current environment. We desperately need happy things on our Newsfeed and in our lives," said Jessica Manfre, one of the founders of Inspire Up.
There are many military spouse-centric subscription boxes, but these #SparkandInspire boxes are free and include a special item designed to give back to your local community.
"In each box there will be an action item that will encourage you to take action in your life and your community. For instance, this box discusses the importance of WORDS and how words matter. This box will provide the tools to share the importance of words," Boccher said.
The foundation plans a quarterly giveaway of the boxes.
"Part of the box will contain items to really help the receiver work through self-discovery and then the other will be, 'Hey, here are two really amazing opportunities for you to give back to your community.' Studies have found that those who volunteer/live generously tend to have better health outcomes overall. And with our current environment, we need it!" Manfre said.
Included in the box are a personalized journal, a bracelet from a well-known military spouse jewelry maker, an inspiring shirt and a few other things designed to uplift and encourage.
When asked why the collaborative effort between the two organizations, Boccher explained, "Months ago, I was thinking of all the ways to engage with our community, and then COVID-19 hit, which affected the way we could interact with one another. This forced me to consider ways to pivot and still achieve connections within our community. It was in that moment that I realized Discovering Your Spark and Inspire Up could collaborate to meet spouses where they are! We can provide encouragement to help spouses discover who they are, where they are, and then inspire them to inspire others!"
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