I am thrilled to announce that Care.com has officially launched a new section on our website dedicated to Military Families. This project has been such a long time coming and has a very special place in my heart for many reasons.
First and foremost, as First Lady Michelle Obama has stated in a number of public events, helping our Military Families is a national priority. Military Families face a unique set of struggles. Moving or “PCSing” around the country and sometimes the world. Deployment of one or both parents. The potential that a parent may not return. The truth is that we as a society must accept responsibility for addressing the challenges that these families face when they make the sacrifice to fight for our country. This is not just a military issue. It’s an American issue.
I think one of the reasons that I feel passionate about our work with Military Families is that I grew up hearing stories about my grandfather, a veteran of World War II who survived the Bataan Death March in 1942. Without his and the family’s courage, I would not be alive today. When I founded Care.com, I realized that, at the same time that we were really filling a gap in the needs of American families, we also had a unique opportunity to potentially help the Military Families of our country.
In October of 2008, I had the privilege of meeting Leslye Arsht, former Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy and now a Senior Advisor to Care.com. Listening to her stories, from reestablishing schools in Iraq to founding an education-based nonprofit, I’ve been incredibly moved. Leslye recently visited the office and sat with everyone at Care.com, detailing the challenges of military life and answering all our questions.
In 2009, I joined forces with my good friend, Linda Smith, Executive Director of the National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies (NACCRRA). With a background as Director of Child Development and Youth Programs and the Director of Family Policy for the Secretary of Defense, Linda has been incredibly instrumental in helping me understand how Care.com could serve our Military Families. Together, we’ve published the State of Care Index, spoken at military and caregiving conferences, and combined our resources to enable families across the nation to find trustworthy caregivers.
Under the advisement of both these amazing women, the Care.com mission to help military families has grown and continues to evolve. I look forward to continued expansion of our offering. Please check out the new page to see the stories and testimonials of Care.com Military Families. Post a comment on my blog – let us know what you think!