There are so many different veteran’s organizations out there but how many really have missions to assist and boost morale for the military spouse? The holidays are a joyous time where friends and family come together to celebrate, but for many military spouses, that is not always the case. Service members are often deployed or on assignment, which leaves an empty home for the holidays. However, something as simple as decorating can make the biggest impact in altering the negativity that surrounds a deployment. It’s the little things in life that make the largest difference.
As a USAF Veteran with an active duty spouse, I know firsthand the unique set of circumstances that face the military community. So in my garage with a few close friends, I founded Homefront Room Revival, a new 501(c)3 North Carolina based nonprofit dedicated to enriching the military life cycle through custom home decorating programs. Taking from my own experience as a military spouse, I believe there is a major lack of veteran’s organizations that cater to the issues military spouses endure from serving on the sidelines.
When I was active duty, my husband deployed and shortly after I discovered I was pregnant with my second child. I had a one year old I was chasing after, working 12 hour shifts, and I was coming home to a naked house that was hardly a home. I started to deal with a lot of “invisible illnesses” like many military spouses do. I was suffering of depression, anxiety and isolation. It was during this time I found my vice and coping mechanism. I began decorating my house to comfort me, surrounding myself with things I loved, when my loved one was not there.
It was then I realized that decorating is a therapeutic way to occupy time, as well as a creative outlet which can help make a military house a HOME. So I launched Homefront Room Revival to fill the gap for a strictly military spouse support service to boost morale during deployments. There are a lot of spouses that endure invisible illnesses related to the life cycle of the constant unknown, and stressors of military life. Yet there are not many personal outreach programs available to assist in breaking that cycle.
Homefront Room Revival strives to create a beautiful home to comfort spouses as a place of refuge from the many challenges of military life. Through donation and volunteer driven initiatives, the nonprofit re-purposes and designs furniture, adds personalized touches, and customizes a space plan to the likes and preferences of a military member’s spouse. Local artisans volunteer to collaborate with the design team to create personalized items that fit the style, and look, of the “dream” inspiration pictures that are submitted by spouse recipients.
Since originating in May 2016, Homefront Room Revival has completed five full custom room makeovers for military spouses in need across North Carolina. This holiday season, we launched a new program, Dec’ the Deployment, to enhance the holiday spirit and boost morale through collaborative seasonal decorating. Homefront Room Revival believes that many spouses do not decorate for the holidays, or feel the holidays at all, when their loved one is not there to share it with them. We are on a mission to change that, and enrich the lives of as many military spouses as possible through our custom decorating programs.
Since starting our holiday program, we have spread holiday cheer through custom seasonal decorating for six different military spouses, and their families, in NC. Spread between three different bases; Seymour Johnson, Cherry Point, and Camp Lejeune we have reached out on a personal level to comfort spouses through custom decorating projects specific to their wants and preference. Our entire team of volunteers has been made up of military spouse artisans giving back to the deployed spouse we have all been.
Please visit http://www.homefrontroomrevival.org to learn more about our unique cause and support our mission to boost spouse morale through decorating. There, you can nominate military spouses in need of a morale boost for one of our home decorating programs in NC. In January we will go back to completing our morale boosting room makeover’s and custom upcycled furniture pieces for those in need. You can help us spread the word about the great things that this nonprofit is doing in our military community by sharing our pictures, stories, and following us on Facebook/Instagram @homefrontroomrevival . If you are an artisan, woodworker, or would like to learn how to craft and become one please email email@example.com to see how you can get involved in our grassroots cause.
Katelyn Tinsley is a USAF veteran, USAF wife, and busy mom of three stationed at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina. She has an MBA in Project Management and a skill for anything interior design and architecture. She is the Founder and Executive Director of Homefront Room Revival and a passionate advocate against Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence. Katelyn started Homefront Room Revival in hopes of having it grow into a national initiative for supporting military spouses with home comfort. During her free time you can usually spot her on the beach soaking up the sun and breathing in the salt air with her husband and three children.
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