The social media world is rough right now as our networks seem focused on very polarizing political issues, as we all air our feelings with the passion they require. No matter what side of the aisle you are on, this is heavy stuff -- of course you and everyone around you is passionate about it. But the problem comes when that passion ends at talking. What about doing? How can you back up your words with actions?
Military spouses are good at doing. We are good at doing things for our community. And we are good at doing things for the world around us. So instead of talking more about what polarizes us right now, we want to highlight a few military nonprofits started in our own community aimed at helping the world at large.
To find these nonprofits we asked around the military spouse world specifically for spouse-launched nonprofits that problem solve for their communities -- military or not. There's a big world out there and these spouses are doing incredible things in it and for it. Don't see your favorite spouse-launched military nonprofit listed? Pretty please, tell us about it in the comments or via our contact form.
Be a Doer: 7 Military Spouse NonprofitsSomebody's Mama. We've told you about Leia Johnson before. An Air Force spouse, Leia's nonprofit Somebody's Mama focuses on helping women worldwide right where they live. They collect funds for specific projects in a variety of ways, including through Love Clubs. Not unlike a party held around your favorite home-sales line, Love Clubs focus on raising funds through a specific event for these Somebody's Mama projects. It's a cool idea with a big impact. Bonus: an excuse to socialize. You can get involved by hosting a group or donating.
Philippians Place. This nonprofit provides housing and life-skills training for the homeless community in Onslow County, North Carolina (home to Jacksonville and Marine Corps Camp Lejeune) in an effort to break the cycle of homelessness. Started by Marine Corps spouse Lenize Patton in 2014 after she learned there were over 370 homeless children in the county, Philippians Place aims to provide faith-based assistance. You can get involved by volunteering or donating.
Military Spouse JD Foundation Justice for Military Families. I just love this off-shoot of the Military Spouse JD Network (MSJDN), a bar association for military spouse attorneys. MSJDN's Foundation meets legal needs within the military community, with a specific focus right now on the needs of military survivors through a partnership between Justice for Military Families with Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS).
Wear blue: run to remember. This nonprofit was started by Gold Star Army wife Lisa Hallett and her friend, Erin O'Connor, after Capt. John Hallett was killed in combat in Afghanistan in 2009. This one is particularly close to my heart -- John was my husband's commander at the time of his death and I helped produce this awesome documentary directed by Glenn Osten Anderson and Ian Connors. Wear blue: run to remember has brought thousands of military families and community members together through running as they honor the fallen, the still fighting and the families in a moving memorial. Spending time with them is an incredible experience as they speak the names of fallen troops before each group run and host their famous "Blue Mile" of flags and posters of the fallen at races nationwide. You can get involved by attending a local chapter or community run, joining the wear blue mile at a local race or donating.
Wrapped in Strength Project. This nonprofit was started by Navy spouse Gina Palmer in memory of her son, Derick, and donates hooded bath towels to kids battling cancer. Gina sews the cozy towels in her spare time. You can help by donating.
Sunshine Spaces. Started as a way to teach their kids to help those in need, Sunshine Spaces helps terminally ill children by doing room makeovers to give them a space to be a kid despite their challenges. Erica Jones, a Marine Corps spouse, runs the nonprofit with her husband, Joshua, in the Dallas-Fort Worth area near where they are stationed. You can help by volunteering, donating or fundraising.
Stroller Warriors. I admit it, I like running. But even more than that I like nonprofits that get their start through local problem solving. When Marine Corps spouse Stephanie Geraghty started Stroller Warriors it was because she, personally, wanted running pals. Now the volunteer run nonprofit hosts workouts for moms and non-moms at bases worldwide, providing a way for spouses to get out and get active in a social setting.