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Austin Culture of Giving 2012
Comfort and joy

The Comfort Crew: Spreading Christmas spirit and peace of mind to military kids

Austin Photo Set: News_ryan_comfort crew_kits
Building Comfort Kits Courtesy of The Comfort Crew
Austin Photo Set: News_ryan_comfort crew_kits
Austin Photo: News_Ryan_Culture of Giving_Comfort Crew_Dec 2012_logo

It’s Christmas Eve, meaning that many Americans are spending quality time with family at home, usually with relatives that they don’t get to see often enough. The time will be appreciated, but there will plenty of folks out there, including many children, who will have to miss out on holiday family time due to having a parent out on deployment for the military.

It’s never easy for these kids, but there are those who will stand with them to help them through.

The Comfort Crew for Military Kids understands the challenges faced by the modern military family, especially over the past decade of overseas conflict. The size of the military has shrunk by 30 percent since 1990, which has resulted in longer and more frequent deployments for men and women in uniform due to large-scale operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

For months on end, many kids have dealt with the anxieties of knowing that a parent is in constant danger. The Comfort Crew seeks to ease the difficulties of military family life through various efforts.

One common method is the creation and distribution of Comfort Kits for youngsters. Each kit contains DVDs, plush toys and journals that encourage kids to express their emotions and feelings regarding various situations. For many, it’s dealing with deployments, moving or reintegrating with returning parents, while for others it will be learning to cope with a loved one who made the ultimate sacrifice.

The non-profit also offers more hands-on efforts to help military kids by hosting camps that foster their physical, social and emotional resiliency. Camp Hero was held at Camp Mabry in 2012, focusing on creating an environment that builds support amongst peers as well as support throughout the military community. The Comfort Crew will also assist spouses and loved ones in trying to understand the difficulties of being a military kid and how to work through those problems.

During a USO Tour, the Comfort Crew estimated that it was able to meet and reach 75,000 military children. Over the past two years, 69,000 Comfort Kits have been distributed. The Comfort Crew is on a mission and is committed to helping as many children in need as possible. It’s summed up in their motto ­— “We Are With You All the Way!


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