One of the more collaborative efforts in providing support to military members and their families has been the H.E.R.O.E.S Care program. This program is a collaborative effort involving H.E.R.O.E.S Care, Give an Hour Volunteers, Stephen Ministries, and other organizations to support military families before, during, and after deployments to address a variety of needs that arise. In congregations that already participate in Stephen Ministries, Stephen ministers are provided additional training on military culture, deployment cycles, and issues faced by military families and designated as Hometown Support Volunteers. The Hometown Support Volunteers are able to listen to military members and spouses and make appropriate referrals to meet there needs such as financial assistance, mental resource, and finding employment, to name a few. Some congregations participating in this program have even found that other veterans in the congregation that served in previous conflicts have stepped forward to participate in this program as volunteers that had not been actively involved before. For more information on this program contact H.E.R.O.E.S Care at (636) 600-0096 or write to H.E.R.O.E.S Care at 1306 R West Lark Industrial Drive, Fenton, MO 63026.
It is hoped that ELCA congregations actively engaged in providing care to veterans and their families will provide stories and details on these ministries that can be shared with other congregations through this website. If you have examples of ministries you are conducting to reach out to military members and their families that you would like to share with others, please contact Ed Hatcher at firstname.lastname@example.org for inclusion on this website to keep it up-to-date and reflective of current ministries to these families