Children from military families face unique challenges when mom or dad deploy or return home from deployment, sometimes with physical and psychological wounds. But many of those children receive support from The Comfort Crew for Military Kids. For 10 years, the organization has provided proven resources to families to help children cope with deployments, reconnections, parent illness and loss.
This mission to support military children makes The Comfort Crew a natural partnership for The Barry Robinson Center. About 70 percent of the Center’s residents come from military families. Recently, the Center provided financial support and hands-on help to The Comfort Crew when residents assembled 160 deployment kits for military families in Hampton Roads.
“This is a unique opportunity for us – to have a group where many of the children are from military families – serving to support other military kids,” said Ronda Englander, The Comfort Crew co-founder and executive director. “It’s a chance to create peer to peer interaction, encourage them to think about other kids and do something nice for them.”
The deployment kits include plush comfort bear Cuzzie®, an animated With You All the Way! DVD created by The Comfort Crew and the USO, a guided writing journal, postcards, and a pair of dog tags to share with the deploying parent.
“We explained all of these elements to the kids and showed them how to assemble the kits,” Englander said. “And they also wrote messages to the recipients of the kits. Kids are drawn to help kids, and this gives them a way to encourage others.”
In assembly line fashion, the Barry Robinson residents enjoyed the hands-on component of putting the kits together and learning more about The Comfort Crew.
“Our staff looks for service projects that our residents can take part in, and this one is a winner for everyone,” said Rob McCartney, Barry Robinson CEO. “The Comfort Crew has a wait list of military families who have requested deployment kits. It’s our privilege to support them and enable them to help more families.”
Learn more about The Comfort Crew and their resources for military families.