Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund

year 2, week 45: this week i'm gonna... support military families

  photo credit: Yiqing Shao

photo credit: Yiqing Shao

Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund (MMHF) is proud to support families of fallen service members through their programs and community events. Every year at their signature community building event around Memorial Day, MMHF creates a Flag Garden Planting on Boston Common. With the help of hundreds of volunteers, they create a majestic garden of flags; each of the 37,000 flags they plant at the Soldiers and Sailors Monument represents every brave Massachusetts service member who gave his or her life defending our country since the Revolutionary War.

In addition, on the Thursday before Memorial Day, families of the Massachusetts fallen read the names of their loved ones during the Remembering & Honoring Name Reading Ceremony.

The Name Reading Ceremony and the completed garden is a breathtaking tribute to the true meaning of Memorial Day and is a powerful message of community support to the families of these fallen heroes -- their sacrifices will never be forgotten.

 
 SFC Robert Bean plays “Taps” on the Common at the MMHF Memorial Day event.  (photo credit: Pat Greenhouse/Boston Globe Staff)

SFC Robert Bean plays “Taps” on the Common at the MMHF Memorial Day event. (photo credit: Pat Greenhouse/Boston Globe Staff)

 

 
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The Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund (MMHF) is an organization dedicated to providing support to the families of military personnel with ties to Massachusetts who have died as a result of active duty service after 9/11/2001. MMHF aims to provide support and assistance to bereaved family members of fallen heroes through the following programs: 

  • The Basic Needs Program - offers limited emergency financial assistance for military families whose ability to provide for themselves has been compromised by the grief of losing a service member in a time of war. Covered expenses can include rental/mortgage payments, utility bills, or other basic necessities.
  • The Family Enrichment Program - offers up to $1,000/year to eligible member households to be used for services and programs which can enrich the quality of life for bereaved military families. Examples of eligible costs include uninsured mental health counseling fees, life coaching services, career counseling fees, educational classes, tutoring, childcare expenses, camps, and vocational training.
  • The Emergency Casualty Assistance Program - offers financial support to cover expenses related to the funeral of a family service member which are not covered by any military program or benefit.

In addition to their programs, MMHF offers community support to the families of the fallen through both public and private events. The public events bring the community together in acts of volunteer service showcasing support for our military and their families. The private events are social gatherings designed to bring bereaved families together in an atmosphere of fun and mutual support. 

To learn more about MMHF and the importance of their mission, please check out the news segment below:


 A volunteer piles up care packages bound for troops overseas.  (photo credit: Wendy Maeda/Boston Globe Staff)

A volunteer piles up care packages bound for troops overseas. (photo credit: Wendy Maeda/Boston Globe Staff)

Each September on the anniversary of 9/11, MMHF coordinates a care package service project to support active duty service members and veterans in need, as well as a pledge drive to support local bereaved military families. This event is a wonderful opportunity for community members to give back and remember September 11th, now a National Day of Service and Remembrance.

This past September, MMHF partnered with Project 351, a youth-driven service organization, to assemble over 500 care packages for military service members overseas and for veterans in need at home in Massachusetts. The care packages included food, clothing, and other necessities and memorabilia from home.

“...(W)e have a new generation...of young people who weren’t alive when September 11th happened, but who still understand what it means to remember, honor, and serve,” states Steve Kerrigan, president of the MMHF.

 Volunteers putting together care packages.  (photo credit: Shira Schoenberg)

Volunteers putting together care packages. (photo credit: Shira Schoenberg)

In addition to building the care packages, the event includes writing letters of support to troops, and a pledge drive for the families supported by MMHF. 

Celia Sarmanian, 14, who organized collection drives for the care packages says, “Our service heroes put their lives at risk and they give their lives so we can be safe. I think it’s important to honor them and give them the respect that they deserve... They give so much, and their families, too.”


Notes for this week:

  • Veterans' Day is November 11th. givetwig is extremely grateful to all who have served our country!
  • Our collective givetwig donation will sponsor approximately 20 care packages for active service members and veterans in need.
  • For more information on Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund, please check out their website.
 

this week i'm gonna donate to Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund.

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