A World Away is shifting gears, and opening its doors to all Wisconsin military families. If you have a story to tell, contact Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today, meet Janell Kellett:
I am Janell Kellett and I am the full-time Family Readiness Group (FRG) volunteer for the Wisconsin Army National Guard’s 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team. I say “full-time” because volunteering becomes a full time job when your unit is preparing to deploy and does deploy. The primary function of the FRG is to pass on important information from the military to the families of our Soldiers. We do this via email, newsletter and by having a phone tree set up to contact families with important information. We also set up social events for families so they get an opportunity to make friends with other parents, siblings, spouses and friends of Soldiers.
I have the pleasure of working with the most amazing volunteers. I am so proud of them and of what they have accomplished over the years. I was a lead volunteer in the FRG during both of my husband’s deployments. His first deployment was from August 2005 – November 2006. His second deployment was with Headquarters Company of the 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team from February 2009 until January 2010. Throughout this deployment the 32nd Brigade FRG leadership decided that we wanted to focus the families on community service to show our appreciation to the community and help keep them focused on something positive throughout the deployment. We set up community service events for the families and partnered with other service organizations in the community to show our support to our community.
Our individual groups of families did a variety of things to support the community. For example, one group conducted a community wide clothing drive for our homeless Veterans, another group of families conducted a coat drive for children in need, a group of military families along with the Boy Scouts and other groups conducted a carnival with the proceeds donated to the local elementary school. These are just a few examples of the great things our military families have accomplished in 2009 to support their community.
A few things that I organized in 2009 were a team for the Race for the Cure, a diaper/wipes drive for a local food pantry in Madison, I organized a group of military families to man a watering station for the Madison Mini-Marathon, I set up a food drives for Second Harvest and another local food pantry. I also organized Servicemembers and families to ring bells for the Salvation Army in December. I have been a military spouse for 12 years and have been active in the FRG since we got married.