If you are on the move with the military here are some organizations to connect with as you PCS to find support and build community no matter where you go!
Finding a friend at a new duty station can be quite challenging, can’t it? Wouldn’t it be great if we could take a friend with us to help us get settled? Well, we might not be able to physically take a friend, but there are a lot of resources that help us transition, build community and find some fun along the way just like a friend would do. Here is a list to get you started.
If you are looking to connect right away spouse clubs are a great place to start. A military spouse is a unique position and there is just something so special about connecting with other military spouses isn’t there? We lean in differently and have a deep understanding that goes with the position which is why the spouses club is usually one of my first stops for me after we move. It is a special group full of spouses ready to serve, connect and build community.
We all need support as we navigate this military journey and I have found Military Spouse Advocacy Network to be a good resource whose goal is to create stronger families within the military community. They can help with education, collaborations, mentorship, and leadership development.
There are so many wonderful things happening at the USO. Did you know that most USO’s offer free resources? Some offer daily support with bread and staples while others have food distribution sites and even weekly meals. Many of the centers have library time and often offer a free book to preschoolers. There are monthly connection meetings both virtually and in person too. And it is a great place to get connected since they have computers and resources to use right away. USO can be a resource to help us through the move since many airports offer lounges for the family. A typical airport lounge will offer a free meal, snacks for the road, a place to rest and often books or magazines to take for the journey.
This is an armed services ministry and is a fun gift package your family can get delivered for free. They are a Christian ministry so you will get devotionals and bibles as well as fun activities or games for your family to play. The package is customized for your family including individual activities for each child. Our first package on this last move was full of crafts, baking supplies and activities which helped to settle the kids and gave them something to do while our house was unpacked. We have loved these monthly packages. I mean what is more fun than getting a package full of goodies?
This organization has a heart to serve military spouses and was started from a group of wives who wanted to take care of widowed spouses. They have expanded their reach and continue to serve our community through scholarships, family retreats, and advocacy for military spouses.
The chapel on base is a great spot to find out what is happening and get connected to community groups. Small groups, studies and mom groups all meet at the chapel and there are often resources like counseling, connection groups and family activities.
This is an online resource that is full of support and guidance on topics like moving, family relationships, wellness, and even financial advice. You can connect to counseling services, legal support, and get information about housing in your new location.
As soon as we get settled, I head to the MWR or the recreational area on base. You can ask for help, but they also have information boards that will connect you to all the fun happening on and around the base. They often host holiday events like egg hunts for easter and cooking or craft classes each month. You can find exercise and workout classes or learn about swim lessons or recreational activities for the kids. This is a wonderful resource to get connected and start having fun as a family.
The housing office will offer not only housing information, but community connections too. They can offer support with real estate agents, rentals, handy man information and all sorts of support for getting settled into a new home and community.
Each base will offer family services and it is a great place to connect with as soon as you get settled. They have a wide range of support during deployments and transitioning. They often have a loan closet in case you need something during a move and even offer new parent support programs. You can reach out for financial support or even look for employment, so it is a great resource through a transition.
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As CEO for Inspirational Inc. and founder of “Tea With Chantel” trainings & workshops, Chantel Mathson inspires women to live with purpose and build thriving community. Shehas traveled all over the U.S. and Canada, speaking and inspiring others to become impact makers. Chantel has been a featured speaker at NASA Space Center, The University of Notre Dame and numerous national conferences. She is a keynote speaker, workshop facilitator, blogger, bible teacher, military spouse mentor, author, and professor of communications. Chantel shares her heart and home with her husband, three kids and two dogs in California. As a Military spouse she has moved twelve times and has a heart for helping military wives connect, find their purpose, and create community. Her Tea with Chantel business evolved as she moved across the country and had to create new community herself. She is always ready to share a cup of tea and would love to connect… FB/Twitter/Linkedin/IG @teawithchantel or Instagram.com/teawithmilitarywives and teawithchantel.com