“Beyond the Yellow Ribbon”

When I found out that my community was in the process of becoming a “Beyond the Yellow Ribbon” city I couldn’t wait to attend the next meeting.

For Homefront United Network readers who are unfamiliar with what this is, let me explain.  

“Beyond the Yellow Ribbon is a comprehensive program that creates awareness for the purpose of connecting Servicemembers and their families with community support, training, services and resources.”

In other words, it’s one of the coolest things EVER.  

This campaign: http://www.beyondtheyellowribbon.org/ is a Minnesota based initiative dedicated to “bring Servicemembers all the way home.”

Cities, communities, and geographical regions receive this prestigious designation by completing a detailed 16 step process that connects virtually every private and public sector of each individual community with Military families. 

The first Yellow Ribbon Network meeting I attended focused on planning our “Kick-Off.”  In essence, we were charged with hosting a community event to announce our intentions of becoming a “Beyond the Yellow Ribbon” city, and to recruit additional volunteers from the following key areas to help support our mission:  

 – City Leadership

- Yellow Ribbon Steering Committee

- Public Safety / Judicial

- Faith Based Organizations

- Veteran / Civic Organizations

- Businesses / Employers

- Social Services / Medical Providers

- Education / Youth

The initial group of volunteers is the most highly resourceful and ultra-efficient collaboration of people I’ve EVER been a part of.  But, as you all know, Military types absolutely ROCK, so I shouldn’t have been surprised.

We chose to promote our intentions at various local events and parades leading up to our “Kick-Off” and the response was PHENOMENAL.  We literally had people come up to us asking how they could help in any way shape or form. 

The “Kick-Off” was a great success.  Multiple individuals, organizations and business stepped up and offered their support. I look forward to writing a future article about our official proclamation!

Imagine if HUNDREDS of communities in EVERY state rallied together to support Servicemembers and their families.  It’s happening in Minnesota…and very well could be happening nationwide in the near future if this continues to grow at the rate it’s growing.

In the meantime, if you live outside of Minnesota and want to help connect your Military families with your community?  Don’t be shy!  

1. Reach out to your community.  Most individuals, organizations and businesses are more than willing to become part of a support network for military families.  

2. Compile a list of WHO’S willing to help, and HOW they’re going to help. 

3. Distribute your list to Servicemembers, Veterans and their families via Facebook, Twitter, email or other social media.

4. Invite the individuals/organizations/businesses on your list to any and every Military function in your community.

5. Watch it grow.

The Homefront United Network and our readers would love to hear about the unique ways your community supports Military families.  Whether it’s the corporation who goes out of their way to hire veterans, a business who offers discounted goods/services, the neighbor who mows your lawn, or the lady from church who babysits your kids once in a while…tell us about it in the comments section below! 

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  1. Over 500 entities have registered on the Military Family Initiative to state what they do to support our military famiilies. Simply by going on the http://www.btyr.org website, click on “Military Family Initiative” you can either find a resource/company/group that can help or you can register your group/businesses that have discounts or volunteers. Good luck! Steve Campos, President, Yellow Ribbon Networks of Washington County Est. 2009. One of the best ways to connect is signing up for “Events and Deals” that is sent from Beyond The Yellow Ribbon website directly to you and you can share with your network and military families.

  2. Steve, this is a GREAT resource. Thanks for the heads up. I see that many of the entities serve the Maple Grove area. I will pass this along to our group!

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