25 Programs & Non-Profits For Military Kids


April is Month Of The Military Child!  I love that we have a whole month dedicated to honoring our brave military children.  Military Kids are courageous, resilient, and sacrifice so much.  I also love that there are so many fantastic programs and non-profits now available for our military children.  Below is a list of 25 different opportunities for your military kiddos that you may not have known about.  Please help pass this post along to other military families so more and more families can be aware of some of the great programs out there for our brave Military Children.

 Resource list of nonprofits and programs for military kids!

(1) National Military Family Association: 

Offers several different resources for military children.  NMFA is proud to offer their Operation Purple Program which includes Operation Purple Camp (offering a free week of camp for military kids to connect), Operation Purple Healing Adventures (A Free 3-day experience to celebrate rediscovering family-fun and togetherness after an injury), Operation Purple Family Retreats (brings families from all uniformed services to beautiful outdoor locations to spend quality time reconnecting after a deployment)  You can also learn about educational and Deployment resources on their website.

(2) Military Child Education Coalition:

The work of the Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC) is focused on ensuring quality educational opportunities for all military children affected by mobility, family separation, and transition.  Learn more about their Resources and Programs to include Free Camp Opportunities through scholarships on their website.

(3) Blue Star Families:

BSF offers loads of programs, events and support systems designed to keep our military children happy and healthy! Beginning with literacy, transitioning to new schools and new neighborhoods, deployments, developing as budding civi assets bullying and some sweet opportunities to do things like meet the President (#awesome) and get letters from like the coolest guy ever, a SEAL.  Visit BSF to learn about their programs, MilKidz Resources, Way Cool Creativity Contest and Books on Bases.

(4) Military OneSource:

Offers several great resources for military families whether you are a parent looking for information about child development, a preteen or teen looking for tips on saving money or getting involved in your community, or help with deployment and PCSing.  MilitaryOneSource offers fantastic resources and support.

(5) Military Youth On The Move:  

A fantastic website full of resources for our military children to help in all facets of military life from deployment to pcsing to eating healthy.  Great website offering support for military children youth, preteen, to teen. 

(6) MilitaryKidsConnect.org:

A department of defense website that helps military kids, tweens and teens understand that they can overcome obstacles. The struggles they face do have solutions. No matter where they are in the world, no matter what time of day, military kids can watch personal story videos, view animated graphic novels, play games and communicate with other military kids.

(7) Boys & Girls Clubs of America: 

Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the U.S. Armed Forces partnered to help children of military families face the unique challenges of military life. Today, this enduring partnership continues to provide children of military personnel with critical youth development programs and activities, giving families the vital support they need.  Every year, some 500 BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide provide more than 460,000 youth with the same high-quality programs and curriculums that traditional Boys & Girls Clubs provide. In addition, one-year, no-cost memberships are provided to children of the approximately 70 percent of families who live outside military installations.

(8) United Through Reading:

United Through Reading offers a fantastic program for military families.  United Through Reading provides opportunities for emotional bonding that relieve the stress of separation and instill a love of reading by providing the opportunity for family members to read aloud to children on video while separated.

(9) Chameleon Kids Life Magazine:

A new quarterly magazine for military kids ages 6 and up.  The first stop for fun ideas, up-to-date information, and creative products for military kids.  Their goal is to help military kids see the bright side of their military life, even at the most challenging of times.

(10) MilitaryFamilyBooks.Com:

Is an online bookstore dedicated to books all about military life.  This company shares great books on topics such as deployment, PCSing, and all aspects of military life.

(11) Armed Services YMCA:

Offers several opportunities for Support (camp information found below).  ASYMCA offers Operation Kid Comfort at participating bases.  Volunteers at the Armed Services YMCA create custom-made photo transfer quilts and pillows. Each child receives a quilt or pillow; children 7 and under receive a quilt, 8 and older receive a pillow. Operation Kid Comfort quilts and pillows are for the children of our deployed active duty U.S. military service men and women. The quilts and pillows are personally handcrafted to help children cope with the emotional stress during a parent’s deployment.

(12) The USO Military Family Programs:

The USO has been lifting the spirits of troops and military families for more than 70 years. While this mission has not changed, the USO has continually adapted to meet the changing needs of our troops. Military families today are enduring the stresses of multiple deployments; coping with their loved ones’ visible and invisible wounds of wars, and struggling with the grief accompanying the loss of a family member. The USO uses its presence around the world — and the trust of troops and military families earned over a 70-year history — to help understand and meet these needs. The USO’s broad reach and reputation attracts valuable resources and partner organizations to create a comprehensive array of programs and facilities with the scale to make a meaningful difference for our military families while sending a powerful message of gratitude from the American people.  The USO has many different programs to help our military families and children. USO centers nationwide also participate in many different FUN events for our military children.  Follow your local USO on social media to keep up to date with the latest news and events.

(13)  Sesame Street Talk, Listen, Connect For Military Families:

Sesame Street provides much-needed support and practical education with Talk, Listen, Connect, a multiphase outreach initiative to help kids through deployments, combat-related injuries, and the death of a loved one. Videos, storybooks, and workbooks especially created for this program guide families through these tough transitions by showing how real families — as well as furry monsters — deal with similar circumstances.  Also, check out Military Families Near And Far a great website for parents and military kids to help with deployments, homecomings, changes, and grief.  This website has many different activities such as mobile apps, downloadable PDFs, and other helpful links.

(14) Tutor.Com for Military Children:

Educational Support for Military Children funded by the DoD MWR Library Program, Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program, and Navy General Library Program.  Get homework and studying help from a professional tutor any time you need it. FREE for students in Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, National Guard and Reserve families. Expert tutors are online 24/7 and available to help in more than 16 subjects, including test prep, proofreading, Math, Science, English and Social Studies.  Visit the website to learn more. 

Scholarship Opportunities For Military Children

(15) Scholarships For Military Children Program:

This scholarship was created in recognition of the contributions of military families to the readiness of the fighting force and to celebrate the role of the commissary in the military family community. It is the intent of the program that a scholarship funded through contributions be awarded annually for each commissary operated by the Defense Commissary Agency worldwide. The Fisher House Foundation is honored to be involved with the Scholarships for Military Children Program.  A minimum of one $2,000 scholarship will be awarded at every commissary location where qualified applications are received.

(16) Our Military Kids:

Our Military Kids provides grants to children 3 years of age through the 12th grade (program recently changed from ages 5-18 to now offer grants for children ages 3-18) of deployed National Guard and Reserve personnel and children of all Wounded Warriors.  Our Military Kids supports the children of wounded service members/veterans by awarding grants that pay for participation in sports, fine arts, and academic tutoring programs. Activities help children cope with stress and anxiety in a positive way while parents recover from severe service-related injuries.

(17) Thanks USA:

Join us in our mission of providing college, technical and vocational school need-based scholarships
for the children and spouses of US military personnel.  The deadline to Apply is May 15th.

Fun Activities and Camps Available For Military Children: 

(18) Camp Corral: 

A free summer camp for military children, registration for its 2015 summer camps are open. The nonprofit organization has expanded its reach since last summer, and will now offer summer camp sessions at 23 camps in 19 states. Although any child from a military family is eligible, registration priority is given to children of wounded, disabled or fallen military service members.

(19) Armed Services YMCA:

The Armed Services YMCA offers junior enlisted families the chance to participate in family, youth, and teen camps year-round at our 34 branches and affiliate locations through our Operation Outdoors program. Operation Outdoors encourages healthy living as part of our core mission of making military life easier. In partnership with sponsors like Newman’s Own Foundation, ASYMCA camps and retreats provide much needed recreational and bonding opportunities for military children and families who have experienced multiple deployments.

Resource list of nonprofits and programs for military kids!

(20) 4-H Military Partnerships:

Create opportunities and provide support to military connected youth whether they live on or near an installation, in our communities, or on overseas installations. 4-H clubs and opportunities provide consistency in belonging and an opportunity to develop life skills through a positive youth development framework.  4-H clubs are offered on installations world-wide and in the communities where you live. Camping opportunities are available for military children, youth, and families.

(21) Youth Programs and Summer Camp Opportunities at your local installation:

There are tons of great opportunities at your local military base for summer fun through different programs and camp opportunities.  Check with your local Morale, Welfare, and Recreation & Child and Youth Programs to see what summer camps and programs are available.

(22) Military Teen Adventure Camp Opportunities:

Military teens (14-18 years old) will have an opportunity to participate in adventure camps scheduled June 2015 through April 2016 at little to no cost. These high energy, high adventure, and high experience camps are planned across the United States from Washington to New Hampshire and from Colorado to Ohio and to Florida as well as states in between. This is the perfect chance for you to experience the outdoors as you never have before! Each camp offers a unique outdoor experience that will allow you to build your leadership, self-confidence, and teamwork skills while participating in activities like camp cooking and archery. Camps have funding available to assist with transportation costs. Camps for youth with special needs (mental, physical, and emotional) are also planned in New Hampshire. Opportunities to camp as a family are available in Kentucky. There is something for everyone!

(23) Tiger Woods Learning Center:

This camp, which is located in Anaheim, California, emphasizes hands-on experiments, goal setting, career exploration and positive youth development through S.T.E.M. (science, technology, engineering and math) and golf programs for kids.  A scholarship is available for military children, which covers the entire cost of camp tuition, overnight accommodations, daily meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) and one all-day excursion to Disneyland.  (Families are responsible for their child’s travel cost.)

(24) Waves of Honor Program:

Looking for something FUN to do this summer?  Thanks to SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment the Waves of Honor Program permits any U.S. active duty military, activated or drilling reservist, or National Guardsman to one complimentary admission per year for military personnel and as many as three direct dependents to SeaWorld (Orlando, San Antonio, San Diego), Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Tampa, Sesame Street Langhorne, Aquatica San Diego, and Adventure Island Tampa

(25) Horses4Heroes:

This non-profit offers several programs for children (and adults, too). Our mission is to make horseback riding affordable for and accessible to, our service members, veterans, survivors, First Responders and their immediate families.  Heroes come in all sizes and Horses4Heroes serves them all, every day, with affordable recreational, instructional and morale-boosting health & Wellness programs at more than 200 able-bodied and therapeutic equestrian centers throughout the country. 

We hope that this list is helpful to you and your military family!  If we missed any fantastic programs or opportunities for our military children please feel free to share in the comments below. Give your military child/children an extra special hug this month in celebration of month of the military child.  Also, for the younger ones don’t forget to visit Blue Star Families and download and print your Recognition Certificate for Month of The Military Child and tell them how AWESOME they are!

Visit MilitaryBridge.com or Follow Us on Facebook to keep up to date with other military related programs, non-profits, fun events around town, military discounts, and military-friendly businesses in your military community.

24 Comments

  1. Hi
    I am the youth and teen coordinator for FL National Guard. I am seeking overnight and day camps for school age children and teens. Day camps and specialty camps offering military discounts are also needed.

    Thanks

  2. Hi Danya,
    Is there a current list for 2016? I’m aware some of these carry over, however some end (ex. 22) April 2016. Thank you for putting these together!

  3. Hi! I attended an event worth the vfw and there were flyers saying military families can get grants for their children’s sports. Can you direct me to something like that please?

    1. Hello Lynn,

      I have not heard of that. That’s awesome! Can you go back on base and ask at MWR or FFS?

      Good luck!
      Danya

  4. Our Military Kids http://ourmilitarykids.org/
    All of the following criteria are required for families of deployed National Guard and Reserves to be eligible for an Our Military Kids grant:
    •The Service Member must be deployed overseas (OCONUS);
    •The deployment must be at least 180 days (or 120 days for Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve);
    •There must be at least 60 days remaining on the orders at the time of application (or 30 days for the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve);
    •The child must be at least 3 years old, but not older than a senior in high school (children become ineligible once they have graduated high school);
    •The child must be a dependent of the Service Member.
    They send a thank you to your child and pay the service provider directly

  5. Hi my name is Cecilia I was wondering if this is only for kids that there parents that area or been in that military !!!!!!! You don’t help kids that there parents are joining the military

    1. Hello Cecilia,

      I am a bit confused about your question. Are you asking if these programs are for children of service members just entering into their service commitments? Please clarify and I will do my best to answer.
      Thanks.

      Have a great day,
      Danya

  6. Hey there ! I’ve a 6 year old and she’s struggling a lot,with school im pushing the teacher to get any help for her but seems not happening, I was wondering if here’s any website or tutoring to help my daughter out ?
    My husband is a veteran.
    Thank you

  7. Hello,

    I work in a Youth Center on Tyndall AFB and I am looking for funding or grants for free books, free summer activities and field trips near Panama City. We are a military establishment and are in need of a few donations or places to look for funding.
    Thank you so much in advance.

    1. Hi Tiffany,
      Did you find funding for free books, etc.? If so, I have the best children’s books, especially books for military children who may be suffering from military separation. Let me know. Thanks, Sally

  8. Hello, Are there any programs that can assist with TA so that private school in the area can be an option for our kids? We live in VA and my husband and I are both veterans.

  9. I feel that our family members that serve our country should have equal opportunities with these programs. Its very disheartening to see our children of veteran’s do not get the same benefits as those that are active. Either way their parent served, and there for what is the difference whether active or veteran?. Things need to change,and yes thank you for your support for our active duty but what’s that tell our children of our veteran’s?. So not fair although these are great opportunities, they’re not equal opportunities..

  10. Hi my husband is currently serving in the Army. He is on his 19th year. We have 2 sons who play ice hockey. Our oldest has been playing travel since he was 6 and he hopes to one day get a college scholarship. We are currently stationed in LA. The hockey is very expensive here. My oldest, a freshman in HS, is currently trying out for the local AAA team. My youngest wants to start travel this year also, he is almost 11 years old. My question is are there any grants or scholarships available? Both boys are honor roll kids and with our many moves we want to give them the opportunities they deserve.
    Thanks
    Betsy Hyde

  11. A number of teenagers work to collect children’s books for donation to worthy organizations .
    We are located in Westchester County NY and Fairfield County CT

    Would be happy to help vet kids

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