This article about how kids can help others during COVID-19 was originally published on National Military Family Association’s website in April 2020. Here is a link to the original article: Original Article
In any other year, April would be the annual opportunity to celebrate the military-connected children around the globe. It would be a time to adorn our school hallways with purple, signaling appreciation for the sacrifices our children make being a part of a military family. April would also be a time to highlight the unique challenges and lifestyle our children live. From deployments to frequent moves – April has always been a month shining a spotlight on the challenges our kids are faced with when their parents serve our country during conflict.
But it’s not the same this year.
This year, April is the month the United States has experienced the full brunt of a worldwide pandemic of COVID-19 virus. Our schools are shuttered, our community streets are empty, our neighbors are feeling the effects of closed businesses and massive job losses. April is the month our military families are still quarantined in their houses overseas, supplies slowly making their way to military installations and seeing empty shelves are more the norm than not. Our families are faced with a delayed PCS – Stop Movement order from the Department of Defense effective through May and possibly beyond, and veterans are being asked to come back to military service to help hot spot cities around the country.
This year is different, very different. When our nation has been attacked, hurting and vulnerable, our military has always answered the call to protect and serve. Military kids were born to those same Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coasties who volunteered their lives for our country. They were born to serve. Unemployment and isolation are the aftershocks to the COVID-19 crisis.
Our kids need to look to help others in our community through this once in a lifetime crisis – it’s what our families are called to do. Instead of a month of Purple Up celebrations, we try a month of Purple Up to Step Up. Our country needs all of us to look outside of our homes to help our neighbor. The neighbor who lost his job, the child who is medically fragile and can’t go outside, the senior in a nursing home that can’t have visitors and the families of the deployed who had their homecomings delayed and support system evaporated through social distancing. A small act of service and kindness can make a difference in the communities we live in.
The need is real.
We are living in extraordinary times and it calls for extraordinary measures. Let’s encourage a month for our kids step up like their parents do, help those who need it the most, protect and uplift the vulnerable by acts of kindness and service. Do it wearing purple, write in purple, embrace purple as our kids do great things for others.
Next year, we can happily return to the traditional celebrations adorning purple to say thank you to the kids whose parents serve in uniform. But this year, it’s time to come together and help those who need it. Below is a list of ideas to step up and give back. Add your own, do a little or do a lot. Give a nod back to military-connected kids by adding purple to whatever you do. It’s our signature, if not the color of the armor that bonds all military-connected kids.
Note: Try to incorporate this week into each month for the duration of deployment. They still need their village after April. Also, think of those who might be stuck in mid-PCS moves who are in TLF or living on stick furniture.
Wrap it Up! Tell us what you did and how it made you feel. Did you make a difference? What did you like doing to most? Share it!
About the author: Stacy Allsbrook-Huisman is an Air Force spouse, writer, mother and advocate within the military spouse community. As a former Parent-to-Parent trainer for the Military Child Education Coalition, she led workshops and seminars on many topics related to the education of military-connected students. She is the coauthor with Dr. Amanda Trimillos of Seasons of My Military Student: Practical Ideas for Parents and Teachers (Elva Resa, 2018). She offers professional development on military-connected students and education transition to schools, parent groups and military support agencies.
About the National Military Family Association: Learn more
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