Support our military families through Cheerios’ Cheer postcard program #CheeriosCheer

Cheerios Send Cheer To support our military families, Cheerios and the USO are partnering in the Cheer Postcard Campaign. Until the end of November 2011, specially-marked boxes of Cheerios cereal will feature Cheer postcards on the front of the box.

All you need to do is cut out the postcard, write a message of thanks on the back, add a stamp, and mail the pre-addressed card to the USO. This would be a great project to do with your kids!

The USO will then deliver the Cheer card to military families across the country. For each postcard received, Cheerios will make a donation to the USO to help fund programs designed to support military families, up to a total maximum donation of $250,000. To kick off the program, Cheerios has already donated $150,000 to the USO and will donate up to an additional $100,000 based upon the number of postcards received.

It’s a simple way to say thanks and lift the spirits of our military families, especially during the holidays when their love ones are away serving our country.

The Cheer program helps support military families

There are more than 1.4 million active duty members in the US military. They’re supported by more than 3.6 million family members. In addition, more than 70 percent of married service members have children under 12.

“The Cheer program offers an easy way for us all to touch the lives of military families. It’s a simple gesture, and a Cheer postcard will be a welcome reminder that others really care,” said Sloan Gibson, CEO and president of the USO. “We love this campaign because it gives cheerfulness directly to individuals while providing funds to support programs that will reach all of the people we serve.”

USO Patch

About the USO

The USO lifts the spirits of America’s troops and their families millions of times each year at hundreds of places worldwide. They provide a touch of home through centers at airports and military bases, top quality entertainment and innovative programs and services. They also provide critical support to those who need them the most, including forward-deployed troops and their families, wounded warriors and their families, and the families of the fallen.

The donation from the "Cheer" program will help fund services and programs like the following:

USO Centers - supporting and comforting military families throughout the world

Military families, whether on bases or in their communities, face isolation, relocations, single parenting duties and often, economic stress. At more than 160 locations, the USO steps in by offering social activities for families, navigation tools for moving to new communities, and support during difficult times such as deployment and loss of a loved one. 

USO Centers adapt to the changing needs of families. In these difficult economic times, they've begun offering “No Dough Dinners,” where military personnel and their families can get a free dinner when the paycheck runs low, no questions asked.

With You All the Way - helping kids cope when mom or dad is deployed or comes home different

Imagine what it’s like to be a child knowing that your parent is in harm's way, and yet trying to be a typical kid like all your friends. “With You All the Way” is one of the USO's signature family programs developed in partnership with the Trevor Romain Foundation to help children and their families prepare for deployment, stay connected during the separation, plan for reintegration and at times, cope with the wounding or loss of a military parent.

“With You All the Way” reaches kids through performances at schools, DVDs and kits to provide them with the tools they need to live a normal life while mom or dad is away serving.

United Through Reading's Military Program - keeping families connected through the power of a simple story

The USO joined United Through Reading® in 2006 to host the Military Program. Using all the emotion and inflection as if they were in the same room with their children, troops visiting a host USO Center, or even stationed at a Forward Operating Base in Afghanistan, read one of many available storybooks into a video camera.  The USO mails the DVD recording and book home, and kids can watch and listen to mom or dad at bedtime, naptime, or anytime. Families back home complete the circle by sending back a touch of home – a photo of the child watching the deployed mom or dad reading the book. 

In 2010, the USO shipped more than 70,000 books and DVDs to military families, bringing the total recordings for the past three years to more than 184,000. 

OPERATION PHONE HOME® - connecting families with their loved ones abroad

With OPERATION PHONE HOME®, the USO provides that very important personal connection that helps deployed troops reach out to their families and stay in touch. Since the program's inception, the USO has distributed more than 2.8 million prepaid international calling cards, each featuring 300 units of talk time. 

In 2009, the USO launched a satellite-based connectivity network, providing a private phone network, high-speed Internet bandwidth and WIFI access points for deployed troops in Afghanistan, Iraq and Kuwait. In 2010, troops made nearly 2.5 million free phone calls home using this network – an average of 200,000 free calls per month. Also thanks to this network, a number of deployed fathers in forward operating bases have gotten the chance to see the birth of their children via Skype.

The USO is a private, non-profit organization, not a government agency. They rely on the generosity of volunteers and donors. To join them in this patriotic mission, and to learn more about the USO, please visit www.uso.org.

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Disclosure: I wrote this review while participating in a campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Cheerios and received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to post.

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