Shoestring Living: Assistance for military families

Molly Logan Anderson

This Sunday, the Fourth of July, we Americans will celebrate our independence with barbeques and fireworks, parades and Old Glory flying high. In honor of those that make that independence possible, let’s take a look at organizations geared toward assisting families of deployed soldiers during and after their time away. Taking advantage of resources like these can help military folks survive the financial hardship during wartime, as well as the emotional toll taken by the separation of deployment. 


“If we expect military soldiers to protect this country then surely we can protect their families while they’re deployed,” says Tiffany Stoner, co-author of FamilyPrint: One family’s unique reflection during war ( and co-founder of the associated nonprofit organization that assists families of veterans deployed overseas. “It doesn’t require enormous amounts or time or money. Sometimes the smallest gestures can make the biggest difference to a mother caring for children while her husband is deployed.” Initial proceeds from the book have bolstered funding for Our Military Kids, which helps children stay involved with extracurricular activities during a parent’s deployment. 

FOCUS (Families OverComing Under Stress)

Working with existing teams of dedicated military family services personnel, FOCUS staff assists families in understanding how combat operational stress affects them and the service family member, how to manage stress and how to strengthen their family. Simply stated, FOCUS ( is a resiliency-training program for military families and children to help them meet the challenges of combat operational stress during wartime. Teaching resiliency gives families the ability to effectively cope with, adapt to and overcome adversity and stress.

Our Military Kids

Children of deployed National Guard and Reserve personnel, as well as children of severely injured service members, receive grants for enrichment activities and tutoring through the support of Our Military Kids ( Continuing such activities helps kids cope with the stress of having a parent in a war zone or recovering from injury at home. Given in honor of the sacrifices made by military families, Our Military Kids grants ensure that children have access to sports, fine arts or academic tutoring programs.

Molly Logan Anderson is a freelance writer who lives in the western suburbs of Chicago with her husband, Mike, three kids and black lab. Join Molly on her family’s journey of living a frugal life and making financial freedom their reality.