Several of you have said, "ASYMCA, What's that?"
I have been lucky enough to be stationed at one post that has an ASYMCA nearby. The services they provide can be a real lifesaver for military families with children, especially during a deployment.
They offer many programs for military children and our local ASYMCA has also offered programs for homeschooling families, as well as childcare during Balls and FRG meetings. This is just the small scope though. Go to their website or call your local facility to see all of the various programs they offer.
Here is some information about the Armed Services YMCA:
The Armed Services YMCA (ASYMCA), is a national member association of the YMCA of the USA and works with the Department of Defense. ASYMCA has provided support services to military service members and their families for more than 140 years, particularly focused on junior-enlisted men and women - the individuals on the front lines defending our nation and their families. ASYMCA operates at 17 dedicated branch locations and seven affiliated community YMCAs, as well as 10 Department of Defense/Department of Homeland Security affiliates worldwide.
ASYMCA offers essential programs such as childcare, hospital assistance, spouse support services, food services, computer training classes, health and wellness services, and holiday meals, among many others. In 2004, the ASYMCA served more than 433,340 military family participants.
Our family is getting ready to PCS to a location that does not have a ASYMCA, but the ASYMCA Headquarters is open to requests for new locations. I have spoken with the ASYMCA and they are currently trying to work with various installations to open new facilities. This also requires some leg work from families. We have to let the 'powers that be' at our installations know that we want and need their services.
Below are their current locations, you can also link to them here.
If you are not located near an installation or you are located at an installation without an ASYMCA, many regular YMCAs offer varied programs that include military families. Many YMCA directors are also open to discussing what programs they can offer to better serve military families. It just takes a visit or a phone call.
They also offer annual Art & Essay Contests for military children, as well as other recognition programs.