A Beacon Of Love Inc., is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to supporting Guard and Reserve military families during and after combat deployment. Our mission is to bring individuals and families together with the services they need, and to advocate for better programs to support their day to day needs.
Lives are changed instantly when a mom or dad is deployed either from combat trauma or the long deployment away from spouse and children. Family and financial pressures can be overwhelming during deployment. When returning home, many are rushed to transition back into civilian life without the time or support to renegotiate partner roles that have changed significantly during deployment. Add trauma or post-traumatic stress disorder to that readjustment and the struggle can be insurmountable. Given these conditions, it is not surprising that DoD statistics report marriage and family breakups have increased 42% over the course of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
Active duty families often have access to the services and support of a nearby military base to help with these problems, but Guard and Reserve families are usually far from these places and isolated in dealing with the same challenges. After experiencing some of these issues during my husband’s service in the U.S. Army Active Guard Reserve, I realized how difficult it is to even know about, much less find, services without the help of a local military organization. As a result of my own experience, I retired from my corporate job last year to focus my professional expertise and personal commitment to bridging this gap for Guard and Reserve military families.
What makes A Beacon of Love unique? Many programs are available, however military families do not know who to contact or where to go to receive them. We play that essential assessment and coordination role. At the family’s request, we go into the home to help them determine their needs and then connect them with appropriate services in their own community. We work with individual family members and the family together providing a safe confidential environment to share and talk about challenges and traumatic events. We help them recognize and break through these challenges as well as recognize their own internal strengths to thrive in the face of change. We advocate for and assist in securing services from organizations, programs, and volunteers, ensure services have started, and follow-up to be sure it continues.
Military service members commit their time, talents, and lives to our country. Too often their contributions come at great personal costs which are not only financial and occupational but personal and long-lasting. Helping families like these prepare for deployment and re-adjust to family life afterward is the key to reducing these consequences. The families are there and the services exist. What is missing is the bridge between them. We are that bridge. However, families should not have to pay anyone to make that connection. That’s why I formed A Beacon of Love as a 501(c)(3) organization that can accept donations that allow us to do this work.
The cost for A Beacon Of Love to support just one family during this difficult time is approximately $1200 - $2000.
These costs include:
· Assessment of family needs.
· Coordination of services from other non-profit organizations, volunteers, and the community.
· Professional coaching services for the family together as well as individual family members.
· Marriage/relationship support.
· Assistance with payment for minor home repair, transportation, and childcare.
Visit our website for more information on how we support and advocate for military families: www.abeaconoflove.com