These last few weeks have brought a lot of less-than-good news.
Frosted over finals week, trying to get ready for Christmas, the husband being MIA on the home front, the mass teaching of the program I run, the dishes piling up in the sink, my 4 year old’s boundless energy…
I’m drowning over here. Life is kicking my ass.
But in the spirit of resilience, and the spirit of Christmas, today I choose to be thankful.
So here we go folks, in no particular order, a round up of people I’m truly thankful for: Military Edition.
The Sweet Dreams Pillow Project is a charity that will, for no cost to the customer, make a pillow with the picture of your beloved deployed service member printed on it for your military kiddo. Seriously, during my husband’s second deployment, all I did was send these guys an email with a photo of my husband in uniform attached, and about a week later my son received his own special “Daddy Pillow” as he affectionately named it. He slept with it every night of those eight long months. He used it so much the picture is now wearing off. It was awesome. The Sweet Dreams Pillow Project is currently on a hiatus due to a cross-country HQ move, but will be back up and running as soon as possible.
MyCAA provides eligible military spouses of active duty service members with up to $4,000 of tuition assistance. The goal is to assist spouses in obtaining certificates, licenses and/or an Associate’s Degree in a high demand, portable career. Thanks to MyCAA, my degree and licensing will have cost me close to nothing. I couldn’t have afforded school without it. Yea, it can sometimes be a red tape nightmare (as with all college experiences), but let’s not lose sight of the fact that there are 100’s of people your age, buried in student loan debt, ready to kick your ass if you want to complain about free college…
Trees for Troops is an organization that, with the help of charitable farmers all over the country, provides free Christmas trees to military families. That’s it. All you have to do is be a military family, and wait in a line on the prospective date of the event near your duty station. All for the sake of making people happy. Seriously, these guys rock.
Warning for the faint of heart, I’m about to be brutally honest. It’s by shear luck of the draw that my family is not one that needs TAPS assistance. A matter of inches, a matter of minutes…that’s all that stood between that reality, and mine. TAPS is a program dedicated to serving Gold Star families, by helping them heal, and honoring the memory of those lost. This is a charity close to my heart, as I believe it’s important to always remember that it could have been any of us who were handed that folded flag.
Fisher House Foundation is much like Ronald McDonald House, but for military families. Families of sick or injured service members are given homey accommodations to stay in close to the facility in which their loved one is receiving treatment. The Fisher House Foundation also runs programs that help provide frequent flier miles to families needing to get to their injured service member’s side, hotel rewards points to cover associated hotel costs, and scholarships for military spouses and kids.
This holiday season, despite everything else, I choose to be thankful. Thankful for those who owe us nothing, yet go out of their way to be there for us.
“Great opportunities to help others seldom come, but small ones surround us everyday.”