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Supporting military families: Home Front Hearts

As part of an upcoming report on military families, Need to Know visited several organizations across the country supporting the families of military service members. The full story will air on Need to Know this Friday, September 9. Check your local listings for more information.

Despite 20 years of experience in nonprofits serving vulnerable populations, Randi Cairns had difficulties finding resources for her own family when her husband, a National Guard Captain, was deployed. So in 2008 she founded Home Front Hearts to use some of the skills and resources that she had accumulated as a military spouse and mother or four.

Although there are many groups working to support military families, Home Front Hearts says that the needs of military families exceed the existing capacity to meet them. “Significant gaps in services coupled with limited access to them and/or knowledge about what’s available have allowed some military families to ‘fall through the cracks,'” their website reads.

Home Front Hearts focuses on providing each family or soldier seeking assistance with an individual response, including identifying existing resources, providing referrals or connections, and even rallying communities when established resources may not be available.

Earlier this summer Home Front Hearts was selected as one of Home Depot Foundation’s 2011 Impact Grant Recipients, providing a Virginia Beach, Va. disabled service member and his family with repairs to their home. In early August, Home Front Hearts was also awarded the grand prize in a Southwest Airlines contest, providing the group with 40 round-trip airline tickets. The group plans to use the tickets to allow service members and their families to visit each other during deployment.