This post is sponsored by USAA, and I have been financially compensated to write it. Regardless, the opinions expressed are completely my own based on my observations. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
In recent weeks, we’ve witnessed a series of disturbing events in the nonprofit space. From Trump failing to fully distribute the 6 million he raised for veterans, to the scam cancer charities who paid themselves and their fundraisers more than 65 million.
With the media overplaying the actions of a few, its no wonder that society has become rather stingy, your current company included.
It’s a shame, as this site was acquired from a series of donations.
Yet, after seeing scams amongst nonprofits, I’ve become a little jaded about donating; Especially if it’s not something I can observe at the local level. It’s really sad considering the ever rising need of our veteran community.
Introducing Blue Star Families
Now, out of the blue comes an organization that’s working to restore my faith in military non-profits.
Blue Star Families is a military nonprofit, formed in 2009 by a group of military spouses in order to build a platform where military families connect with local communities to address the significant challenges presented by military life.
The organization is over 100,000 members strong and has 46 chapters spread across the globe. Blue Star Families is led by Kathy Roth-Douquet, a military family advocate, author, attorney and former government official. Despite her impressive resume, Mrs. Roth-Douquet is a surprisingly gifted speaker, military spouse and a very generous and down-to-earth person.
The 2015 Military Family Life Survey
Since 2009, Blue Star Families has conducted a comprehensive annual lifestyle survey to gain insight into the issues faced by service members and their families.
The lifestyle survey reached over 6,200 military families, active duty service members and veterans, to identify the motivations and struggles of military life. The results enable Blue Star Families to target resources and programs that support the sustainability of the All-Volunteer Force.
Last week, I had the pleasure of attending “Our Nation’s Call to Action,” where Katy Roth-Douquet and Hisako Sonethavily presented the facts behind the 2015 Military Family Lifestyle Survey. The event was held at USAA’s headquarters in San Antonio, TX.
Mrs. Roth-Douquet eloquently provided a captive audience with the history of her organization, the purpose and background, and the findings of the most recent survey.
During a question and answer session, hosted by USAA’s Michael Kelly, Hisako presented a series of startling facts uncovered by the survey.
“Working is extremely good for mental health.” Couldn’t agree more! My first year of marriage was hard bc I was unemployed.@BlueStarFamily
— Jo, My Gosh! (@JoMyGosh) March 30, 2016
— C. Riggs (@CurtezRiggs) March 30, 2016
— J. J. Montanaro (@jj_USAA) March 30, 2016
The sixth iteration of the survey identified a commonality among the top five issues identified by military spouses, service members and veterans. “Military Pay and Benefits” alongside “Changes in Retirement” ranked as most concerning.