National Guard Unit in Feeding Hills Awarded a Family Readiness Group Grant from Guard Support.

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January 07, 2010
Guard Support has awarded a Family Readiness Group start-up grant to the A Company 1-181 Infantry National Guard unit in Feeding Hills, Mass.

“We are a new Family Readiness Group and thanks to GSMA and these start-up funds, we will be able to focus on our families and getting established within our unit, which is getting ready for a September 2010 deployment to Afghanistan. We are so grateful that such a fantastic organization is available as a resource to help us on our journey," says Sidra Baranoski, Co-chair of the A Company 1-181 Infantry Family Readiness Group.

Family Readiness Groups assist commanders in maintaining readiness for service members, families and communities by promoting self-sufficiency, resilience and stability during both peace and wartime.

Company Commander, First Lieutenant Frank J. Baranoski had this to say, "Thank you Guard Support for the FRG grant awarded to A Co 1-181 IN. It is extremely important to build the morale of the unit, friends and families. During my last tour in Iraq, working in a multi service environment the mantra we heard repeatedly was "One Team, One Fight". The motto proved true then as well as now. Regardless of what service, country, race, religion, or sex; it takes everyone's effort to bring the fight to the enemy. Now as a Commander, I see that it is not only the boots on the ground that will ensure victory but also the support of families and friends of the 1-181."

GSMA Family Readiness Group grants provide funding for family group meetings, programs, mailings, materials, family events, send-off ceremonies and homecoming celebrations.

About Guard Support of Massachusetts

Guard Support of Massachusetts was founded in July of 2007 to help the families of the men and women serving in the Massachusetts National Guard.  Since September 11, 2001 the Massachusetts National Guard has deployed over 6,000 soldiers and airmen in support of the global war on terror.  Guard Support was originally founded to provide emergency financial assistance to military families in which one spouse has deployed overseas.

To date, approximately 60% of Guard Support grants have been for direct emergency assistance to the families of the men and women of the Massachusetts National Guard.  Examples include rent payments, electric bills, car payments, gas and heating bills.  The remainder of GSMA grants support Family Readiness Group meetings, programs and family events, including send-off ceremonies and homecoming events; as well as links between the men and women of the Guard and their families such as subsidized transportation for soldiers on leave, subsidized Internet links and Internet phone links for units in Iraq.

In early 2010 Guard Support plans to officially launch the Entrepreneurs’ Funding Program to provide entrepreneurship training, capital and support to both new and existing businesses founded by members of the Massachusetts National Guard.  Providing support for entrepreneurship is especially important in the current economic environment of unemployment and underemployment.  GSMA has partnered with the SBA Massachusetts Small Business Development Centers, SCORE and several organizations that provide support to entrepreneurs including The Boston Entrepreneurs’ Network, The EntreTech Forum and the Center for Women and Enterprise.

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Children's party at the base