SOURCE: Give an Hour

Give an Hour

February 01, 2012 15:34 ET

Give an Hour™ Announces Public Service Campaign to Raise Awareness About How Citizens Can Help Military Families in Their Communities

Community Blueprint Network Addresses Needs of Military Families

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - Feb 1, 2012) - Give an Hour™, a national nonprofit organization providing free mental health services to veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan and their loved ones, announces a public service campaign for the Community Blueprint Network, a collaborative effort to help communities address the needs of veterans and military families on a local level.

The videos of the public service announcements are available for downloading here:
Community Blueprint Network PSA #1 and Community Blueprint Network PSA #2.

There is universal public support for service members, veterans, and their families. Federal, state, and local governments, as well as nonprofit, private, and philanthropic resources and services, have grown and improved in communities across the United States. But there remain significant gaps in services and a great deal of untapped potential for providing effective and sustainable care.

To address these needs by leveraging the combined experience and expertise of collaborating organizations, volunteers from several leading nonprofits have created the Community Blueprint Network, a tool and an initiative that will help local community leaders assess, organize, and improve their community's support for veterans, service members, and their families. The Points of Light Institute became the home of the Community Blueprint Network in the summer of 2011 and will promote and administer this innovative offering for the nation moving forward. The nonprofits on the Community Blueprint Network Advisory Council cover a wide range of areas of focus and expertise: American Legion Auxiliary, American Red Cross, America's Promise Alliance, Armed Forces Services Corporation, Blue Star Families, Give an Hour™, Military Child Education Coalition, Military Officers Association of America, National Military Family Association, Operation Homefront, Points of Light Institute/HandsOn Network, ServiceNation: Mission Serve, the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, and the Veterans' Innovation Center.

With a $2 million grant from the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, Give an Hour™ is implementing the Community Blueprint Network in two demonstration cities: Fayetteville, N.C., and Norfolk, Va. Give an Hour™ is inviting local and national organizations to help implement the program and to evaluate successes.

"We are working to harness the resources available in our communities to support the military families who are left behind when their service members deploy and the service members as they return home," says Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen, founder and president of Give an Hour™. "This kind of support, we've found, is critical to the successful reintegration of military families back into their communities. This initiative will help us to identify vital services, highlight promising practices, and create a comprehensive and coordinated system of care for the men, women, and families who serve our country. Our hope is that these public service announcements will resonate with citizens and direct them to a place where they can learn more about the needs of the military families in their community and how they can help."

About Give an Hour™
Give an Hour is a nonprofit 501(c)(3), founded in September 2005 by Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen, a psychologist in the Washington, D.C., area. The organization is dedicated to meeting the mental health needs of military personnel, their families, and the communities affected by the ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. As of November 2011, Give an Hour has approximately 6,000 providers across the nation -- in all 50 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, and Guam -- with more volunteer mental health professionals joining its network every day. In addition to counseling, providers also consult to schools, first responders, employers, and community organizations. Give an Hour™ has already provided over 46,000 hours of free service, valued at more than $4.6 million. To learn more, visit www.giveanhour.org or https://www.facebook.com/GiveanHour.

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