ScanMyPhotos has always supported our country’s military families. We recognize that they face hardships on a daily basis that most of us will never know. Imagine not seeing your spouse or children for months and missing events such as the birth of a child, a first word spoken or something as simple as that first goal scored in pee-wee soccer.
Back in 2004, ScanMyPhotos partnered with Operation Homefront, Kodak, Sony and Canon to collect new and used digital cameras for military families, a campaign we called “Operation Photo”. We believed that through sharing photos, families could share both the special and the day-to-day moments that make being separated so hard. We also understood that not every family could afford a digital camera to do this. It’s hard to imagine now, but back then, even a 3MP camera would cost someone $250-$400, not a price tag suitable for those on fixed income like a military family. (If you wish to donate your working, used digital camera today, please contact Operation Homefront directly)
To this day, we still believe in supporting our military families and encourage them to scan their photos, whether stationed here in the US or abroad. ScanMyPhotos accepts and ships orders from APO/FPO addresses and offer a special no-charge rush for standard photo scanning orders received from APO/FPO addresses. All standard photo scanning orders received from or going to an APO/FPO address will be completed in 5 business days at no additional charge. Our convenient, and recently discounted, prepaid photo scanning box makes it easy to scan and save those photos with free, three-way shipping.
We especially encourage military families to scan their old photos for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, those old photo memories can be emailed to family members overseas. It can bring out those “remember that time…” moments that can lift the spirits of the service member abroad. It is important, not just for military families, but for everyone to remember the little moments in life, but even more so for the service member due to the nature and stress of their job.
Additionally, if you are moving often, as military families do, having your photos scanned lightens your packing and moving load. Instead of album after album being packed up, you can simply take the DVD or thumb drive. Even uploading the images to the cloud makes them available anywhere in the world with an internet connection.
If You Aren’t in the Military, What are Some Ways You Can Support Military Families?
1. Say Thank You – Next time you see a service member or family, say thank you for the sacrifices they make, or participate in a program such as Operation Appreciation which encourages and organizes letter writing to active duty personnel and veterans. Sometimes a simple thank you can make all the difference in the world for someone’s day.
2. Volunteer your Time and Talents – Programs such as Hearts Apart or Operation Love Reunited are just two non-profit organizations that bring military families together with photographers to create special family portraits. These portrait sessions, for soon-to-be-deployed service members, give the families a chance to bond before deployment and give photo memories for the family back home and the service member abroad. In their mission statement, Hears Apart states that “that our military personnel deserve and need the memory of their families to carry them through the difficult times that lie ahead.” We know that sometimes, a photograph is all you have.
This is just one example but there are thousands of programs you can donate your time to.
3. Be a Good Neighbor – Do you know of a military family in your neighborhood, church or child’s school with a family member deployed? Introduce yourself, offer to make dinner for them once a month or offer to watch their kids so the parent left behind can relax for a night. Little things like this can help ease some of the stress a single parent faces when a spouse is deployed overseas.
In addition, this will encourage your kids by setting an example, to befriend the “new kid” at school. Personally, for me growing up, it always seemed as if my best friends in elementary school were “military brats” that were there for a year or two and then they were gone. I enjoyed meeting new kids and I hope to encourage my kids to do the same.
4. Donate Directly – Websites such as Operation Homefront and Blue Star Families accept direct monitary contributions and both state that 94¢ of every dollar donated goes directly to supporting their military family programs.
Consider the following statistics from Operation Homefront on how they support military families every month:
- $100 – Average amount provided to families for critical baby items: It’s heart-breaking to know that our heroes and their families often do not have enough money to buy formula and diapers for their infants.
- $161 – Average amount provided for food assistance: This is the average amount we give military families to help them put food on the table. If we didn’t help them, many would go hungry.
- $300 – Average amount provided to assist in paying utilities: For our military families, $300 can mean keeping the power on and having running water.
- $1117 – Average amount provided to help with rent or mortgage: Some of our military families are only days away from being homeless. That’s no way for a hero to live
You can even raise money for various programs and charities by selling items on eBay. You choose the charity to support, choose the amount of the sale you wish to donate and then you sell your stuff. eBay has hundreds of military charities to choose from such as Children of Fallen Soldiers, the Wounded Warrior Project, and the aforementioned Operation Homefront and Blue Star Families, among them. Get started at http://givingworks.ebay.com/