How Your Knitting Can Support the Sacrifice of Military Families
Military families can feel tremendous emotional stress with few to turn to. Your knitting for Military Families Ministry can help
During her son’s second deployment, Tracie Ciambotti happened to meet another military mom, Paula, whose daughter had been deployed.
Their joint worries and fears for their children, and their intense feelings of isolation (no one really understands what it’s like when your children are deployed, aside from other military parents!) led to a deep friendship and a desire to make a difference for others in their position.
This is how Military Families Ministry USA, Inc. (or MFM), was born. It came from the hearts of two military moms who wanted to join in solidarity and support with other military families struggling with the same fears and isolation.
Their mission is simple: “to love, encourage, support, and pray for service members and their families.”
The Mission of Military Families Ministry USA, Inc. (MFM)
As this organization was founded by military moms, it can be no surprise that their mission is twofold: to support active service members (as well as veterans), and to support their families.
MFM has created a number of projects that offer this support. These are all listed below. Make note of the starred (*) projects; these are the ones for which knitters and crocheters can donate their creations!
MFM Projects to Support Service Members, Veterans & Their Families
For active service members, projects include:
- Operation Special Request: It’s exactly what it sounds like! Deployed chaplains tell MFM what is needed, and MFM purchases those items from Amazon and sends them directly to the chaplains.
- Stockings for Troops: Also exactly what it sounds like! Sadly, many if not most deployed troops will not be home for Christmas, so MFM ships Christmas stockings to them. For many, it may be the only gift they receive for Christmas.
- Care Packages: MFM ships two different types of care packages to deployed troops. One is food and snacks, and the other is personal care. Both are greatly appreciated by service members!
- *Prayer Patches, Cards, and Letters: Prayer patches are knitted or crocheted squares that troops can tuck into their pockets and carry with them, as reminders that people back at home are thinking of and praying for them. Cards and letters, of course, accompany these for the same purpose. These gifts can have a remarkable effect on troop morale!
MFM has one project for veterans, but it’s a hugely important one:
- Backpacks for Homeless Vets: These are filled with bottles of water, snacks, microwaveable meals, and personal care items. MFM partners with an agency that offers assistance to homeless veterans to help get them back on their feet to provide these backpacks.
And then there are the projects for military families. Here’s where knitters and crocheters can really pitch in to help!
- *Prayer Patches: Like the project for active service members, these are squares that family members of active members can carry with them as a constant reminder that they are cared for, thought of, and prayed over.
- *Prayer Shawls and Dishcloths: They serve a similar purpose–to remind families that they are remembered and prayed for–in a slightly different form. If you’d rather knit shawls and/or dish cloths, this is a great option!
- *Baby Blankets: It can be agonizing to be an expectant mom when the father-to-be is deployed. MFM offers baby blankets, which are both useful and a welcome reminder of others’ care, love, support, and prayers.
- Battles of the Heart: Tracie wrote this book to help other military moms deal with the emotional stress that comes when one’s child is deployed.
How You Can Help Support Military Families
As you can see, MFM offers a variety of ways you can help, and not all of them are through knitting or crochet!
Of course, if you’re on this website, that’s probably what you’re most interested in. 😉 So you can join in by knitting or crocheting prayer patches (I have a Pocket Prayer Cloth pattern that would work great for this project!), prayer shawls, dishcloths, and/or baby blankets.
If you have family or friends who would also like to support the project but who aren’t yarncrafters, be sure to share other projects with them! They can make financial donations, send or sponsor a care package, or even purchase a copy of Battles of the Heart and give it to a military mom who might be struggling with her child’s deployment.
Any questions? You can always contact MFM through their Contact Page. To receive the shipping address to send your knitted items, contact Tracie at [email protected].
You can also get some added inspiration through MFM’s Facebook page.
As you can see, you can show your support in many ways, both to actively deployed troops as well as to the families they leave behind through Military Families Ministry. Why not consider how you can help?