11th Annual USO Tshirt Campaign And How You Can Help
If you know me, or have been around this blog for awhile, you know that I’m passionate about the work of the USO! As a military family, we’ve greatly benefited from all the support the USO provides, and we’re forever grateful. Every year, we love to get involved when the T-Shirt Campaign kicks off! The USO T-Shirt campaign shows your support for our military and allows you to be the Force Behind the Forces – and the design this year is really cool!
Who is the USO?
If you’re not familiar with the work the USO does, this is a great time for an introduction. Established in 1941, the USO began as a way to unify a group of charities as they sought to support the troops. It was widely understood that if the military was to perform at its best, there were many small ways that they needed to be cared for, and there were many BIG ways that their families needed to be looked after in their absence. Today, the USO provides a huge range of services to military service members and their families. The USO isn’t funded by the government; instead, it’s a non-profit organization staffed and subsidized by volunteers and donations.
How does the USO help military families?
Some of the outstanding work done by the USO includes over 250 centers, all across the globe, providing rest, entertainment, and a connection to home for active duty military. Even in areas too dangerous for civilian staffing, there are USO centers stocked with supplies and benefits for respite. USO centers include call centers so soldiers can connect with loved ones at home easily and for no cost. Besides the USO centers, there are a broad range of programs to support military spouses and kids, particularly as they relocate throughout the country and the world.
The USO Care Package program provides a box of supplies specially designed for use during deployment. Operation Phone Home provides calling cards for service members stationed all over the world, to take the cost and guesswork out of contacting their families. The Pathfinder Transition Program helps service members move back into civilian life. Military spouse events and networking opportunities help spouses find gainful and fulfilling employment and support despite having to relocate often.
Of all the USO programs, we’re especially invested in the Bob Hope Legacy Reading Program, which allows deployed military to read and record a story to be sent to their loved ones. Of course, this is a passion for us and our book loving family! On the USO’s website, you can even gift a recorded bedtime storytime to a service member to read aloud to a little one they love and miss.
Military families sacrifice a great deal in service to their country, and the USO works hard to ensure that they feel appreciated, and that as many of their needs as possible are met. Make sure you visit the USO homepage to learn more! Today, however, we’re highlighting the T-Shirt Campaign; it’s a great way to offer a visible show of support as well!
The USO TShirt Campaign
Because the USO is funded by donations, it’s crucial that US citizens understand the value of supporting the military and their families and empower this important work. The USO’s T-Shirt Campaign is a wonderful opportunity to donate to this worthy organization and show your support for the nation’s armed forces at the same time.
Each year, a new design is created to embody the spirit of the USO and ignite additional support for our nation’s military. This year’s design was created by graphic designer and military veteran, Kit Hinrichs. Thousands of service members stationed all around the world voted on three designs, and this was the winner! The t-shirts are produced in the US, and are referred to as “The Official Uniform of Military Supporter.”
Photo Credit: USO
How you can help
When you donate an amount of $29 or above, you’ll receive a t-shirt. This donation goes to support the USO’s broad range of programs. Everyone has faced an incredibly challenging year, and our service members have been no exception – but many of them are facing deployment and separation from their homes and families. The USO’s work ensures that they don’t feel forgotten, and that the necessary support from home helps to stabilize and encourage them as they stay strong for us.
If you’re interested in continuing to support the work of the USO, you can become a volunteer! There are over 30,000 volunteers helping out, and there are so many ways for you to become involved. From fundraisers to homecomings to administrative tasks, there’s a perfect fit for you.
If you’d like to give above and beyond the T-Shirt Campaign, be sure to check out the many ways to donate – there are options for monthly donations, and opportunities for your business or workplace to become a corporate sponsor. If we care for our military, they will be best equipped to care for us!