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Homefront Help

October 15, 2010
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Connections
E-mail About the Author

Homefront Help is SIGNAL Connections’ effort to support U.S. service members, veterans and their families. The column highlights programs that offer resources and assistance to the military community ranging from care packages to benefits and everything in between. In that same spirit, Homefront Help presents opportunities for readers to donate time, offer resources and send words of thanks to those who sacrifice for freedom. Programs that provide services are listed in red. Opportunities for the public to reach out to service members are listed in blue. Each program description includes a link to the organization's website, when available. Homefront Help also has a Facebook page where visitors can gather and share information.

AdoptAPlatoon

As the name suggests, AdoptAPlatoon does in fact allow organizations to adopt units of troops to send them packages and letters. But the effort goes much further, including: adoptions of military members by individuals or groups; a pen-pal option; one-time support opportunities; support for special operations forces whose information is not public; and holiday and special campaigns. The campaigns include sending holiday-themed cards and treats at the appropriate times of the year as well as programs to gather supplies for specific needs of troops or local children.

AdoptAPlatoon takes its programs seriously and requires certain commitments from its volunteers. The website outlines expectations and includes an application form for those who wish to participate. People who want to help without agreeing to continued activity can make a donation. Funds are especially helpful for the organization's efforts to keep special operations forces information secure. For more information about any of these projects and to access a wealth of information about AdoptAPlatoon or other ways to help the troops, visit the nonprofit's website.

Returning Heroes Home

Returning Heroes Home offers a place for wounded warriors and their families at the San Antonio Military Medical Center burn unit and the Center for the Intrepid to recover, rest and find support. The building is the new location of the Warrior and FamilySupportCenter and provides a "living room" environment so the injured troops and their loved ones can enjoy the comforts of home during treatment. Phase one raised money to build the facility; the organization now is looking for funds to help complete the second phase, which involves creating a therapeutic garden and recreation area to further enhance healing efforts. The garden is designed to accommodate the unique needs of burn patients. Returning Heroes Home hopes to complete the outside area by the end of this year. Donations can be made through the website, and more information also is available online.

Special Kindness In Packages Inc.

This all-volunteer organization, more commonly referred to as SKIP, sends care packages to deployed service members. Though many groups across the country perform the same activity, SKIP also works to cooperate with other organizations to enhance the support troops receive. In addition, SKIP offers individually tailored support and guidance to military members and their families. Individuals and groups can assist and partner with the organization in several ways. More information about efforts is available on the website. SKIP accepts donations through igive.com and also raises funds through eBay partnerships and recycling. The organization sells items as well, including "Support Our Troops" garden gnomes wearing desert camouflage.

 

The SIGNAL Connectionsstaff encourages readers to take advantage of the programs mentioned in this column and to pass along the information. In addition, if you know of a program that is helping service personnel, please let us know about it. Submit that information to SIGNAL's news editor.