Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Initiative Connects Faith-Based Groups, Churches to Military Families

ROA participated in a conference call with First Lady Michelle Obama and Joshua DuBois, executive director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, on the "Joining Forces" initiative recently launched by the First Lady and Dr. Jill Biden.

The purpose of the call was to share how faith-based groups and churches can assist in the initiative. According to Mrs. Obama, the primary focus areas for this initiative are education, employment and wellness.

Also on the call were a few groups that are or have been working with faith-based groups and/or churches that gave examples of what they have already been doing to reach out to military families.

One group, Partners in Care, was started by Chaplain and Colonel William Sean Lee of the Maryland National Guard. It coordinates the efforts of 74 congregations and faith-based organizations and provides multiple services including childcare, counseling, groceries and much more to Guard and Reserve families in the area. Partners in Care has been so successful that similar programs are now being introduced Illinois, Delaware, Missouri, Montana and Oregon.

Another group, the Women Veterans Resource Center in Washington, collaborates with churches to assist with career goals, hot meals, job readiness, bible studies and more.

In addition to informing military, veteran and military family orgnaizations, the conference call provided guidance to groups wishing start their own initiatives.

At the Joining Forces website,, you can find volunteer opportunities and post projects, connect with social media, find resources, send messages of thanks, and more.

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