Cheerios® and the USO are proud to team up to support military families
When duty calls, our nation's military families rise to the challenge to help support our country. Military families, whether on bases or in their communities, often face separation, relocations, single parenting duties and economic stress. There are more than 1.4 million active duty military members supported by more than 3.6 million family members, and 70 percent of married active duty military members have children.
So this fall, Cheerios® and the USO are partnering to send "Cheer" to military families to thank and encourage them for their commitment to our country. Specially marked boxes of Cheerios cereal will feature "Cheer" postcards, which can be cut out and mailed to military families through a partnership with the USO. Even more, for each postcard received, Cheerios will donate $1 to the USO to help support programs for military families. Cheerios has already donated $150,000 and will donate up to an additional $100,000 based upon the number of postcards received by November 30, 2012.
Cheerios invites you to show your appreciation by sending a simple "thank you" using the "Cheer" postcard found on the front of specially marked boxes of Cheerios in stores through mid-November.
How Does the Program Work?
Locate a specially marked Cheerios cereal box in your grocery store. After purchasing the box, there are just 3 easy steps!
Cut out the postcard found on the front of the box. You will see cut out lines around the "Cheer" in the Cheerios logo.
On the back-side of the postcard, write a message of encouragement or a simple "thank you."
Add postage, and drop the pre-addressed post card in the mail.
Once the postcards are received, the USO will distribute them to military families on bases and in USO centers. Sending your 'thanks' is a simple, personal gesture of appreciation that will mean so much for the recipient.
About the USO
The USO is a nonprofit organization that helps lift the spirits of America's troops and their families. For over 70 years, the USO has provided a touch of home to our troops and their families through centers at airports and military bases, top quality entertainment and innovative programs and services. When a loved one is away serving, the USO steps in to be a second family for our military families, providing support and tools. The donation from the "Cheer" program will help fund services and programs like the following:
Supporting and comforting military families throughout the world
Military families —whether on bases or in their communities—face isolation, relocations, single parenting duties and often, economic stress. At more than 160 locations, the USO steps in by offering social activities for families, navigation tools for moving to new communities, and support during difficult times such as deployment and loss of a loved one. USO Centers adapt to the changing needs of families — in these difficult economic times, they've begun offering "no dough dinners," where military personnel and their families can get a free dinner when the paycheck runs low, no questions asked.
With You All the Way
Helping kids cope when Mom or Dad is deployed or comes home different
Imagine what it is like to be a child knowing that your parent is in harm's way, and yet trying to be a typical kid like all your friends. "With You All the Way" is one of the USO's signature family programs developed in partnership with the Trevor Romain Foundation to help children and their families prepare for deployment, stay connected during the separation, plan for reintegration and at times, cope with the wounding or loss of a military parent. "With You All the Way" reaches kids through performances at schools, DVDs and kits – all to provide them with the tools they need to live a normal life while Mom or Dad is away serving.
United Through Reading's Military Program
Keeping families connected through the power of a simple story.
The USO joined United Through Reading® in 2006 to host the Military Program. Using all the emotion and inflection as if they were in the same room with their children, troops visiting a host USO Center, or even stationed at a Forward Operating Base in Afghanistan, read one of many available storybooks into a video camera. The USO mails the DVD recording and book home. Children then watch Mom or Dad and listen to their loving voice at bedtime, naptime, or anytime. Families back home complete the circle by sending back a touch of home – a photo of the child watching the deployed Mom or Dad reading the book. In 2010, the USO shipped more than 70,000 books and DVDs to military families, bringing the total recordings for the past three years to more than 184,000.
OPERATION PHONE HOME®
Connecting families with their loved ones abroad
With OPERATION PHONE HOME®, the USO provides that very important personal connection that helps deployed troops reach out to their families and stay in touch. Since the program's inception, the USO has distributed more than 2.8 million prepaid international calling cards, each featuring 300 units of talk time. In 2009, the USO launched a satellite-based connectivity network, providing a private phone network, high-speed Internet bandwidth and WIFI access points for deployed troops in Afghanistan, Iraq and Kuwait. In 2010, troops made nearly 2.5 million free phone calls home using this network – an average of 200,000 free calls per month. Also thanks to this network, a number of deployed fathers in forward operating bases have gotten the chance to see the birth of their children via Skype.
For more information on the USO, visit www.USO.org.
Cheerios will have many exciting events this fall in support of "Cheer." Check back soon for more information!