Children aged 7 years through the 12th grade with a parent in the National Guard or Military Reserve who are deployed overseas or severely injured are eligible for free fencing classes for up to 6 months through the Our Military Kids grant program.
This comes to us from Gerhard Guevarra who runs the All-American Fencing Academy in Ft. Bragg, NC. This is a great benefit for the families and Gerhard is already jumping on promoting the grant program through his fencing club’s home page. If you run a fencing club near an active-duty military population, take some time to promote this program in conjunction with your next set of kid’s classes.
According to Our Military Kids, fencing programs are open for eligible children to participate in.
The grant will pay for up to 6 months of instructional program (24 classes) and can include practice and competition equipment.
The nonprofit organization Our Military Kids has awarded over 25,000 grants and over $10 million to children of deployed National Guard and Military Reserves.
According to ourmilitarykids.org, Our Military Kids was founded in 2004 shortly after the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to help National Guard and Military Reserve children, who do not live on or near Military Bases where there is ready access to support services.
Eligible families apply for a grant and within days of receiving the application, a packet is sent to the child thanking them for their service to their country and notifying them of the award.
Required documents from the Military parent include a copy of the Military parent’s deployment orders or a referral letter from a case manager for severely injured soldiers.
Applicants must also submit one of the following to establish the child’s dependency on the Military parent: a photocopy of the child’s Military dependent ID card or a copy of Form 1172, Application for Uniformed Services Identification or a copy of the child’s birth certificate if the deployed service memeber is the biological parent of the child.
Lastly, the application must be accompanied by a letter from the organization providing the activity or service.
The family does not have to pay back the grant and children are eligible for two grants per deployment. All children in the family may apply for a grant.
Grant awards cannot exceed $500 per child.
About Our Military Kids
Our Military Kids was founded in 2004 to support children ages three to 18 of National Guard and Reserve families that often become financially stretched during a deployment. The organization provides $500 grants for activities such as sports, fine arts, and tutoring programs that nurture and sustain children while a parent is serving our country overseas. Additionally, the program is available to children of Wounded Warriors in all branches of the military. Our Military Kids is funded by corporations, private donors, and government grants. For more information, please visit www.ourmilitarykids.org.