“Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” —Warren Buffet
Leaving a legacy behind is a tall order. Some of us can barely leave each duty station with all our kids in the car! But as spouses of an all-volunteer fighting force, we become immersed in and attached to our communities very quickly.
Sure, we can log our hours in VMIS (if you have the patience of a saint) but what do we really want from our passion and efforts? How can we best give our time, skills, and efforts so that we are not only pouring out to others but filling up ourselves in the process?
What is the secret to being the kind of giver who leaves a place better than it was found?
This past week, I had the pleasure of meeting such a giver. Military spouse Maria Reed has found her passion and is charging full speed ahead to make an impact on the military community.
Her TV show, Moving with the Military, is a home improvement and lifestyle series dedicated to helping military families turn “housing” into a home. The show is gaining popularity among military spouses all over the world, but for Maria it is all about pouring love and joy into her fellow spouses and families.
“The show is about building people up. It is about taking the time to walk in someone else’s shoes. We seek to empower spouses and families and show what it is really like to be a military family,” Reed said.
Think of her as the military’s own version of Joanna Gaines. She is kind and creative, but has the strong indomitable spirit that is often found in the milspouse gene pool.
“We get you because we are you,” Reed explains. “I am overwhelmed at how many emails I get per day from military spouses all over the world. I answer everyone who takes the time to write and I am humbled and amazed by their stories.”
Like most military spouses with great gifts to give, they seek like-minded people, and for Maria, the perfect person to add to her team was Chandee Ulch, another spouse with a photography and creative arts background and the same love for military families.
“I believe God brought us together,” explained Ulch. “We met at PWOC and when I heard about what she was doing, I gave her my number and told her I would be happy to give her any support she needed.”
Ulch’s skills behind the camera were a perfect fit for the show, and together they have helped families at Fort Hood, Fort Benning, and Fort Sam Houston celebrate with home makeovers and decorating tips.
Their latest project is a cookbook, from which all proceeds will go to The Gary Sinise Foundation (another great giver in our tribe). If you have a recipe and a story to contribute, check out their website and give your favorite dish!
We could run a small country with the underused talent of military spouses. How inspiring is it when one of our own can take their skills and passion for people to start a movement that serves others?
I am grateful for all the givers in this world, but I am especially grateful for the givers in our tribe. If you know of a giver in our community, shoot me an email. I would love to share another giver story.
If you would like to share a GIVER story, please send to Kp.firstname.lastname@example.org