NAVYForMoms.com Brings Families Together Online and Off
By Lee Buchschacher, Commander, Navy Recruiting Command Public Affairs
MILLINGTON, Tenn. (NNS) -- Social networking Web site NAVYForMoms.com is celebrating its first year online with a look back at its accomplishments.
The Web site has transformed the military community by providing a platform where moms, dads, brothers, sisters, and other family and friends with loved ones in the Navy or considering joining can come together to answer each other's questions and support one another.
Since its inception, nearly 14,000 people have become members of NAVYForMoms.com, and more than 412,000 people have visited the site, with over 1.4 million total visits. February recorded the largest number of hits to date with more than 210,000 clicks on the site.
In addition to providing a forum to discuss the Navy, NAVYForMoms.com has also been instrumental in bringing Navy families together in person. The Web site held "Paint the Town Blue" events in places like Boston and New York in 2008 giving members a chance to meet each other face to face and express their Navy pride. NAVYForMoms.com also arranged for surprise reunions between Sailors and their mothers at New York sporting events. Members also attended tapings of 'Live! With Regis and Kelly' and 'The Late Show with David Letterman.'
Many NAVYForMoms.com members have also taken time out of their daily lives to organize their own events. There have been more than 145 off-line events organized by members since the site's inception. Moms get together for coffee, to participate in walks and parades, and even meet to assemble care packages for their Sailors.
"Everywhere I go there is another NAVYForMoms.com friend I can visit," said Joyce Slabaugh from Tucson, Ariz. "It's great to get to know folks from across the country, and to come together as a community to support all of our Sailors with efforts like the Adopt a Sailor Project and Knit for the Navy."
As one of the most active groups on NAVYForMoms.com, the "Adopt a Sailor" group sends care packages and greeting cards to a designated unit each month. Participation has become so widespread, that Molly Gisi of Oregon, the group's creator, has begun to take on entire ships for various holidays. Gisi and her NAVYForMoms.com friends gathered 750 International calling cards to deliver to the USS. Rodney M. Davis (FFG 60) this December, brightening the holidays for an entire ship by providing each Sailor on board with a way to call home not just once, but three times.
The 'Knit for the Navy' group is a similar effort with members using their free time to knit homemade blankets for deployed Sailors. The group plans to spread their warmth one ship at a time, and in just a few months has created more than 40 blankets for Sailors aboard USS Tennessee (SSBN 734).
"The friendships we've built and the amount of support we've been able to provide in such a short period of time is so inspiring," said Gisi. "I can't wait to see what the next year brings for NAVYForMoms.com."
For more news from Commander, Navy Recruiting Command visit www.navy.mil/local/cnrc .