Today I have to share the work of some of my favorite people in the entire world. I want to highlight some local military spouses who are doing amazing work to spread kindness and inspire others to do the same.
This all started for me when my family was blessed by a show called Moving with the Military. A group of military spouses came together and organized a bathroom makeover for my physically disabled son. You can see the full episode HERE. Side note: I want to give a huge shoutout to Paric for their generosity in this makeover! The bathroom makeover set off a life-changing set of events.
Once the dust had settled on the makeover (there was a LOT of dust), I kept in touch with the wonderful spouses who were involved. As we got to know each other I realized that their main mission in life was very similar to my passion. Then they let me in on a secret, they were starting a non-profit, Inspire Up Foundation, to spread their joy even farther.
Inspire Up Foundation has one mission, “To inspire a kinder and more giving world by uniting the military and civilian communities through empowerment, education, community building, and a commitment to serve.”
As the ink was drying on the non-profit paperwork, we teamed up together to create Love Mil Kids, an initiative that sent over 500 hearts, made from donated and recycled military uniforms, to military children with a deployed parent. Love Mil Kids was the first initiative of the Inspire Up Foundation.
One of the biggest Inspire Up Foundation initiatives is coming up in just a few months. You may have heard of Giving Tuesday, but you might not know that there is a Giving Tuesday Military, which was started by these very same spouses.
You can support this amazing non-profit by heading to their site and donating or buying a shirt (like the one in the picture below.) A new run of shirts is just starting, so go fill out the form on the website. Another great way to support them is to follow them on social media and share their content. A bigger audience means more acts of kindness!!
Giving Tuesday Military is a movement that challenges military members, spouses, and veterans to serve their communities and spread kindness. If you are in the military or are a veteran, I highly encourage you to check out Giving Tuesday Military. I am honored to be one of the spouses leading the Scott AFB chapter of Giving Tuesday Military along with my beautiful friend and non-profit co-founder Jessica Manfre.
Giving Tuesday is going to be different this year with social distancing, but that shouldn’t stop you from getting involved. For anyone who is not part of the military, I want to personally challenge you to plan to join Giving Tuesday with a focus on serving military members and veterans. Here are just a few ideas on how you can join the movement and spread kindness!
- Send cards or postcards to nursing homes and veterans hospitals! Seniors and veterans are struggling with the social isolation that comes from trying to protect them from COVID, so postcards or handmade cards are a great way to send love without physical contact.
- Find your local homeless shelter. The Joseph Center is a shelter in East St. Louis that serves veterans and find out what they need the most.
- Reach out to H.E.R.O.E.S. Care to donate items to fill care packages for deployed military members or by stuffing care packages.
- Think big! Start a neighborhood drive for toiletries, jackets, etc. for the homeless.
- Start a neighborhood food drive for the local food bank. Don’t forget you can also donate money to the food banks.
- Give blood. There is always a shortage of blood, and it is exacerbated by the pandemic. If you are able, this is a great way to give back at zero cost with very little effort!
No matter what you do, I encourage you to get involved in Giving Tuesday this year! It is more important than ever that we come together and spread kindness to those in need! And don’t forget to get the kids involved!!! ♥ ♥