The majority of our members are active duty medical officers or their spouses. While professionally we provide care and medical services for all service members and their dependents, we ourselves face some of the same challenges. Our service members deploy. Our spouses manage medical emergencies and child birth often without the support of nearby family or friends. The Sunshine Program aims to recognize the need for support within our group and through providing that support to build community and strengthen our families.
There are four main areas in which the Sunshine Committee provides outreach:
We have a deployment buddy program where every spouse whose service member is deployed is partnered with another spouse. They stay in touch, at least monthly, and the club provides support as needed and as funds allow (e.g. childcare, house cleaning, grocery shopping). We celebrate reunions in our newsletter.
- New Babies
All deliveries receive a baby gift. Typically, this gift is delivered in person by a member of the Hospitality Committee who visits with the new parent, checks in, and provides additional support if needed. We also coordinate birth announcements in the newsletter, if the family chooses.
- Medical Emergencies
Our role here varies depending on the situation, but generally the sentiment is to acknowledge the situation and offer support in a positive manner. For this outreach in particular, we do our best to protect confidentiality.
We generally send flowers or make a donation to the chosen charity and send a personalized card. We try to be flexible and responsive if the loss is significant to many club members and our outreach may vary.
Additionally, we recognize our club’s need to handle transitions, especially during Permanent Change of Station (PCS) season. As such, we plan an annual Hail and Farewell event to say goodbye to our members who will be leaving.