Lotsa Helping Hands Open Communities can provide the answer — by bringing able volunteers together to help our nation’s military, both at home and abroad. Today, because so many military families live in neighborhoods across the country rather than on military bases, the support of communities has never been more vital. For those who aren’t serving in the forces, Open Communities is a way to show their service to America through this essential support of our service members and families.
Open Communities is the connector between people who need help and those who want to lend a helping hand. These Communities are often created to help more than one individual or family in a town or neighborhood where the members of the Community may not know all, or any, of the people being helped. The no-cost online service powers offline help that’s customized to meet the needs of each specific family or community, featuring a Help Calendar, automatic reminders, message boards, well wishes wall, a photo gallery, an information section and more. As of this Independence Day, more than 500 caring communities have been created to support our service members and their families.
Meet Sarah Miller. Sarah started a Lotsa Community, Joe’s Army Angels, when her younger brother Joe prepared for his first deployment. Putting his brothers-in-arms before himself, Joe requested that his friends and family send care packages to his 12 platoon members in Afghanistan, not just to him. Sarah turned to Lotsa Helping Hands to organize and coordinate sending care packages abroad. The Lotsa Community was up and running within a few days, allowing Sarah to quickly engage a community to support her brother and his fellow soldiers. Each soldier will receive several packages while they are on the front lines defending our freedom.
While Michael O’Neill is on deployment — his second since re-enlisting as an Army reservist after the attacks of September 11, 2011— his wife Celine is at home caring for their three young daughters. A friend created Celine’s Helping Hands to support the O’Neill family and rallied more than 30 friends and neighbors to deliver meals and provide babysitting, playdates and carpooling.
“My Lotsa Helping Hands Community has been such a wonderful resource, helping me manage all of my responsibilities as a one-adult household again.” said Celine O’Neill. “I continually list tasks on the Help Calendar that my friends and family can sign up for – and complete – in a very easy, non-invasive way.”
In San Diego, more than 40 volunteers hosted the first-ever “Day of Service,” organized through Wounded Warrior Project’s My Care Crew program and powered by Lotsa Helping Hands. The community worked tirelessly with two military families to renovate and repair their homes and yards, filling up 15 truckloads of brush and debris along with repairing drywall, painting and cleaning. The effort not only left two military families with a revitalized yard and home, it strengthened the ties between the families and the community from which they can draw strength and support.
Military families and volunteers can learn more about Lotsa Helping Hands’ Open Communities through a free informational webinar on August 8 at 2 p.m. EDT. Visit www.lotsahelpinghands.com/webinar to register. And to discover how creating a Lotsa Helping Hands’ Open Community can be a great way to make a difference this Independence Day, visit www.lotsahelpinghands.com.