Ways Military Spouses Can Connect Virtually
By Jen McDonald Host of Milspouse Matters Podcast & Amazon Best-selling Author
My oldest son and his family made an overseas PCS move right before the pandemic and subsequent closures hit in early 2020. To say the least, it’s been difficult to make connections and plug into a new community when in-person interaction is limited. I know many other military families are in the same boat right now.
And what about military spouses who are used to volunteering and giving back? Or those wanting to meet up with friends and fellow spouses to provide and receive support? All those avenues have been cut off for the foreseeable future.
Good news! Many nonprofits, official DOD programs, and other companies have responded with ways for military spouses to connect, whether it’s by attending seminars, meeting over Zoom calls, or volunteering—there’s even a “virtual military ball!”
Take a look at some of the virtual opportunities & connections for military spouses below!
VIRTUAL VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES THROUGH SOLDIERS’ ANGELS
While it may seem that traditional volunteer opportunities have come to a standstill, Sol- diers’ Angels has adapted to the shutdowns and is providing many avenues for those looking to serve the military and veteran communities.
From Soldiers’ Angels:
“Soldiers’ Angels has thousands of virtual volunteers or ‘Team Angels’ from around
the world that work to provide support for deployed service members, military families, wounded heroes, and veterans of all eras. These talented Angels provide a wide variety of unique items and services for our troops and veterans ranging from care packages, to cards and letters, to hand-crafted items for hospitalized veterans or new military babies. Since all of the Team Angel opportunities are completely virtual, volunteers have the flexibility to volunteer from wherever they are living and can complete their activities whenever they would like! Team Angels track their volunteer hours and activities through the Soldiers’ Angels database.”
MILITARY SPOUSE ADVOCACY NETWORK
Are you a new military spouse looking for a mentor? Needing support or information for your military spouse life? Connect with the Military Spouse Advocacy Network! MSAN offers webinars, round table discussion, men- torship opportunities, and much more.
From the MSAN site:
“MSAN is a 501c3 nonprofit with a mission to create stronger military families through
Education, Empowerment, and Support. Our Military Spouse Mentorship-HUB helps to bridge military families from every branch of the Armed Forces and their surrounding communities in locations around the world through a Virtual Education and Resource Center, New Military Spouse Support Pro- gram, and Leadership Development Program. MSAN’s collaborations with official military installations, Department of Defense (DoD) resources, and trusted partner organizations provide a structured and personal approach through a One-of-a-Kind Peer-to-Peer Mentorship experience, building long-term connections to local and national resources expanding the military family Sense of Community.”
BLUE STAR FAMILIES TOWN HALL SERIES
Blue Star Families was founded to strengthen and empower military families. To that end, they are committed to groundbreaking research and committed partnerships, including keeping military families informed of the latest news.
JUST MOVED MINISTRY
A donor supported ministry, Just Moved, has provided encouragement for women uprooted through a move for over 25 years. Join the Just Moved Community for a free download of 5 Things Every Newcomer Needs to Know, a one-time discount in the Just Moved Shop, email contact with other JMC members in your area (with your permission), access to discussion and connection in the Just Moved Community Facebook group, and more! They will also donate a complete After the Boxes Are Unpacked study to any military chapel who provides a facilitator.
USO MILITARY SPOUSE CONNECTIONS
The USO (United Services Organization) has a long history of support for military members and families. They’ve now taken many of their military spouse programs online!
Find out more about virtual events and the USO Coffee Connections, an hour long “coffee chat” between a USO military spouse and an influential guest where they discuss topics that are relevant and trending within the military spouse community.
SPOUSE EDUCATION AND CAREER OPPORTUNITIES (SECO)
MySECO, from MIlitary OneSource, is continuing to offer virtual events to support military spouses as they further their careers. The site is constantly updated!
I hope that’s a start for you as you look to connect virtually! Be sure to also take a look at your local spouses’ groups and military installation family support services. Many of these are offering more flexible and virtual opportunities as the pandemic continues!
Learn more about Amazon bestselling author, podcast host & milspouse Jen McDonald at jen-mcdonald.com (link opens in a new tab) & at familymedia.com/jenmcdonald (link opens in a new tab)