These unprecedented times have greatly impacted not just our service men and women fighting on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, but also their spouses at home. With schools and daycares shuttering their doors, many military spouses find themselves in a lurch for childcare and social activities for their children while continuing to hold down jobs or running their households.
USO of Illinois has stepped in to alleviate some stress from our military spouses by introducing a new virtual USO program “USO Snack n’ Chat”. USO Snack n’ Chat gives military spouses the opportunity to connect with others across Illinois who understand the adversities they currently face.
Participants are shipped a box of snacks that is curated from another country. Spouses then log onto a virtual gathering where they learn about the country’s culture, enjoy their snacks and join breakout sessions to have meaningful conversations about their current situations.
The USO strives to connect with the National Guard community who may not feel part of the military community due to their locations. Our support of military spouses has really strengthened our reach to the National Guard population and has provided opportunities for deeper connections between the backbone of a military family – the spouses. From January – July, we’ve hosted 11 events supporting 295 military spouses.
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