“Our Military Kids” Provides Grants to Military Children
The “Our Military Kids” Program Offers $300 Grants
We all know that kids and their activities can cost money. If you have multiple children, that can add up. If you are an active duty family you have access to what they offer on your military installation, but if you are a National Guard, Reservist, or veteran family it can be more complicated to find affordable activities for your children.
Our Military Kids is a non-profit that wanted to find a meaningful way to give back to the National Guard and Reserve troops who were deployed. Starting as a Virginia National Guard pilot program, they have provided $77,000 in grants since 2004. These grants can be used for sports, fine arts, camps, and tutoring programs.
Who qualifies for the “Our Military Kids” grants?
There are two groups who qualify for these grants, children of deployed National Guard and Reservist service members, including Army National Guard, Army Reserve, Navy Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Air National Guard, and Coast Guard Reserve, and children of severely injured veterans from any service branch.
National Guard and Reservists don’t qualify if they have been activated or gone away to training. To qualify as a severely injured veteran, the service member must have sustained combat-related injuries while deployed in support of any post-9/11 overseas contingency operation, must be classified as severely injured, which is 30% or more, and be designated by the Department of Veteran Affairs in one of six categories. They are burns, amputation, mental health, spinal cord injury, Traumatic brain injury, or PTSD.
Each military child will need to apply and can receive up to $300 per grant. Those in the Deployed or Stateside Activated NGR Program can receive one grant per deployment with 80-179 day orders, or two if the orders are over 180 days. For those within the Severely Injured Program, children can receive a grant every six months for a max of four grants as well as a 5th FLEX grant at any time during the recovery period.
What can and can’t they be used for?
These grants can be used for youth sports, fine arts, STEM programs, and tutoring. They can’t be used for daycare fees, school tuition, or mission trips.
What do you need to show to be eligible?
In order to prove you are eligible for the Deployed or Stateside Activated NGR Program, you will need to show a copy of deployment orders, or CED in the Air National Guard, showing OCONUS duty. You will also need to show one of three forms of identification for the child, and documentation of the activities showing the cost. This could be a flyer, brochure, website, screenshot, or a letter from the organization that clearly states the cost. The letters must be typed.
In order to prove you are eligible for the Severely Injured Program, the service member or veteran must also be actively seeking treatment for his or her service injuries and must have a case manager or medical practitioner who is able to certify their information in writing. Our Military Kids has a template you can use on their website.
In addition, you will need to show the breakdown of your disability percentage, your DD214, and documents to verify your child. You will also need documentation about the activity or program your child is going to use the grant for. If you are still active duty you will need to show a letter from your case manager as well as a recent copy of your military orders moving you into a WTU or medical hold.
How do you get the “Our Military Kids” grants?
You can get a printable application on their website and submit it.
Once a grant has been approved, the packet will be sent to the child’s home address. In the packet, you can find a special recognition for the child as well as a grant check which is payable to the organization that was submitted.
It’s important to note that grant approvals are always subject to the availability of funds.
About the author
Julie Provost is a freelance writer, blogger, and owner of Soldier's Wife, Crazy Life, a support blog for military spouses. She lives in Tennessee with her National Guard husband and three boys.