Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Events & Deals

Military OneSource & Armed Forces Tax Council present MilTax Facebook Live Event!

Who:  Service Members and their families
What:  MilTax Facebook Live event to answer questions about tax services offered through Military OneSource and the Military Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program.
When:  Wednesday, Feb 28 2018, at 1400 CST (2:00 pm)


Minnesota Home Expo – FREE TICKETS!

Who:  Service Members and their friends/families
What:  Complementary tickets to the Minnesota Home Expo
When:  March 9-11, 2018 (see website for times)
Where:  Target Field, Delta Sky360 Legends Club, Minneapolis, MN
How:  Pick up tickets in person at the Cottage Grove armory Public Affairs Office

For more information, go to:


NCHC Frozen Face-Off College Hockey Tournament

Who:  Military members and their families
What:  Discounted tickets ($17) for the Frozen Face-Off NCHC College Hockey Tournament
When:  16-17 March
Where:  Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul, MN

Buy tickets online at :

Use code: NCHCHERO to receive the discount


Youth and Family Turkey Hunt

Who:  Youth ages 12-17 (18 year old’s can hunt as an adult) Must have a Firearms Safety Certificate and a parent or guardian during the youth hunt
What:  Learn to Turkey Hunts are sanctioned and managed between the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF)
When:  21-22 April
Where:  17 locations Statewide
POC:  Mike “Cold Front” Kurre, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources at 651-259-5193  or
Register:  By Feb 12 


Sea Life Aquarium Family Overnight – Mall of America


REGISTER NOW!  Slots fill quickly!

Who:  MN Army National Guard members with children ages 5-18 yrs.
What:  Overnight with sea life
When:  April 27-28, 2018
Where:  Mall of America Sea Life Aquarium, Bloomington, MN
Cost:  $65 for Adults, children are free
Register:  By April 9th at


Before bedding down for the night, families will enjoy an evening of learning about the resilient and adaptable animals that call the Sea Life Aquarium home.  Space is limited.  Priority is given to MN National Guard families; other branches will be put on a wait list.  You are not confirmed for this event until you receive an email from Mel Johnson, Child and Youth Program Coordinator.

Activities include:
– Night hike through the aquarium
– Behind-the-scenes tour
– Pizza party
– Light breakfast in the morning
– Souvenir craft


2018 Women Veterans Conference

Who:  All female Veterans
What:  Woman Veterans Conference
When:  Saturday, May 26, 2018  7:45am-5:00pm
Where:  Ramada Inn, 2705 Annapolis Lane N. Plymouth, MN 55441
Register:  Contact info below
P.O.C:  Kimberly Dobler, 612-283-5863

**The mission of the Minnesota Women Veterans Program is to ensure women Veterans have equitable access to federal and state benefits  and services.  We respond to the gender specific needs of women Veterans and ensure that women Veterans are treated with dignity and respect.  Our outreach events are geared to improve the awareness of available benefits, services and eligibility criteria for the women who served in the United States Armed Forces.


Troops To Teachers Program

WHO:  Current military members, retired, and honorably separated military personnel
WHAT:  Troops To Teachers Program
WHEN:  Ongoing
WHERE:  Nationwide
WHY:  To assist transitioning service members and veterans in beginning new careers in public, charter, and Bureau of Indian Affairs schools.
HOW:  Troops to Teachers is a DOD program which facilitates Service members’ successful transition to a teaching career by providing counseling and financial and placement assistance for eligible Service members and veterans.
POC:  Dr. Charles Rick at 218-780-0343 or for online information go to


ZMC Hotel Discounts and Promotions

WHO:  Military and Public Service Personnel (valid ID required)
WHAT:  Hotel discounts and promotions
WHEN:  Various year-round
WHERE:  Duluth, MN
WHY:  To show support for military, law enforcement, and public service personnel
HOW:  go to for details and rates


Personal Financial Counselor

WHO: Military and their families
WHAT: Making Financial Decision
WHEN: Based on Appointment
WHERE: Multiple Locations
WHY: No cost Services
HOW: Contact one of the PFCs on the attached list
POC: 612.397.0295, 612.297.2826; 612.352.8504


Parenting Skills

WHO: Families with kids ages 5-18 (All Branches of Service)
WHAT: Learn how to be the best parent you can be and gain new parenting skills
WHEN: sign up today and you will be assigned a group
WHERE: on-line and in person
WHY: Opportunity to gain new parenting skills
HOW: sign up Click and scroll down to “Join ADAPT4U in MN or MI Now”
POC: Laura Groeneweg
Lead Child and Youth Program Manager
MN National Guard Child and Youth Program
O: 651.268.8695
M: 651.242.6938


Sam’s Club Free $15 Gift Card “It’s Our Salute to You!”

WHO: Active and Retired Military and their Spouses
WHAT: Free $15.00 Sam’s Club Gift card
WHEN: Open
WHERE: All Sam’s Club locations in Minnesota and Wisconsin
WHY: Sam’s Club Salute to You for Your service
HOW: Present your Military ID to the Store Associates when signing up or renewing your membership with Sam’s Club and you will get your $15.00 Gift Card


Lake Trails Camp

Who: Military Teens ages 13-18 (All Branches)
What: Lake Trails Camp: Experience a 9 day Outdoor Adventure at Lake of the Woods. Campers will have an experience of a lifetime and will canoe, cook their own food, portage and set-up camp.
When: This summer! Check the website for open sessions.
Where: Lake of the Woods, Oak Island, MN (Transportation is available)
Register: Click Here
POC: Sue Lemm


School for Performing Acts

WHO: Military Families
WHAT: Opportunity to participate in School for the Performing Arts
WHEN: Open
WHY: Private Lessons for Voice, Acting, Beginning Piano, and Flute via videoconferencing tools Group Music and Theatre Classes on a Global Scale, Consistency and Flexibility
HOW: More information on the programs Play.Sing.Act, LLC offers please Check out
POC: April Vargo Founder, Owner, Educator Play.Sing.Act


Minnesota Military Museum Veterans Registry


WHO: Interested Military, Veterans and Individuals
WHAT: Camp Ripley, MN – The Minnesota Military Museum wants your story for their “Veterans Registry”.
WHEN: The Minnesota Military Museum is open seven days a week from May through September and Thursdays and Fridays from October through April, with special tours coordinated at any time.
WHERE: Camp Ripley, MN – The Minnesota Military Museum
WHY: The Registry is easy to use and anyone can submit a Veterans story and pictures of the veteran. This service is also FREE and a great way to preserve a record of your service for your family.
HOW: Interested veterans and individuals should Click Here  and also click on Veterans Registry.
POC: Executive Director, Jeff Thielen Email


Great Expectations Speaker Series

Great Expectations

A speaker series dedicated to helping the whole community create connections and grow relationships that help young people thrive

Join your friends and neighbors at the third in the Great Expectations Speaker Series!

Free and open to the public

Thursday, March 15, 2018 | 7:30-9 a.m.

Shannon Hall | Interfaith Outreach & Community Partners

1605 County Road 101 N, Plymouth 55447

Light breakfast will be provided

Register button1


Ann Masten, Ph.D., Regents Professor of Child Development at the University of Minnesota, author of Ordinary Magic: Nurturing Resilience in Children 


What is resilience and what have we learned from research on young people who overcome disadvantage or adversity to succeed in life? Professor Masten will highlight the origins and findings from studies of resilience, hers and others, with a focus on opportunities for families, schools and communities to foster positive development and resilience in children and society.

Wayzata Public Schools


The Wayzata and Orono School Districts and Interfaith Outreach & Community Partners are anchor partners of Great Expectations, a school and community initiative designed to bring effective programs and strategies to scale and heighten community-wide investment in the educational success of all kids from cradle to career.

Resources to help children in the wake of a school shooting

Resources to help children in the wake of a school shooting


Father and son in skate park


By Jessica Dym Bartlett

As adults struggle with their own reactions to the school shooting in Parkland, Florida—the 29th mass shooting in the United States in the first two months of 2018 alone—young eyes and ears are watching and listening.

This is an important time to talk to children about what they are seeing and hearing, even when they did not directly witness the event. While it can be difficult to know what to say, evidence from research and clinical practice can help us with these difficult conversations. We begin with a few suggestions for adults who care for children indirectly affected by a school shooting:

Talking to children about school shootings

Honesty is important when speaking with children about school shootings, but that doesn’t mean they need to know the details. What children need to know, and how we talk with them about such tragedies, is best considered through a developmental lens. How we answer their questions, for example, should depend on what they can understand and process without heightening their distress.

For a child of any age, it is important to begin by finding out what they already know. The National Child Traumatic Stress Network recommends gently correcting inaccurate information, encouraging children to ask questions, and answering them directly. Adults can respond by acknowledging the child’s experience and feelings about the event, rather than focusing on the event itself. Parents can use a number of resources to find the right words to say, including apps such as Help Kids Cope. However, conversations should be tailored to the age of the child:

  • Infants and toddlers are comforted when caregivers are warm, sensitive to their needs (e.g., feeding, sleeping, comforting), and maintain predictable routines. Conversation about the event can be harmful to very young children, who are highly sensitive to adults’ emotions. Even if they can’t understand the content, they can sense that something is wrong and experience distress
  • Preschoolers do best when adults use a calm voice, simple language, and respond to their questions honestly but with limited detail. Death should not be a taboo subject with young children just because it is upsetting to adults. Most important, preschoolers need reassurance that they are safe. Safety can also be communicated nonverbally—for example, by participating in normal, everyday activities and receiving extra attention from adults. Early childhood programs and parents can jointly support children who experience a school shooting.
  • School-age children understand more than younger children and may want to talk about events at length with a trusted adult. Still, it is important not to offer disturbing details or to assume that children’s concerns are the same as those of adults. Like younger children, they need comfort and reassurance of their safety. They may want extra attention from adults and friends, and time to talk about subjects other than the school shooting. Schools can also serve as important sources of support by understanding and responding to a school shooting in trauma-informed ways.
  • Adolescents benefit when adults take time to listen, without judgment, to their thoughts and feelings about the school shooting. Teenagers can think abstractly and may struggle with larger issues, such as the meaning of life and death and social justice. They tend to value honesty and are quick to point out hypocrisy. However, it is important not to force adolescents to discuss the event until they are ready, as they are likely to resent when adults appear push their own agenda.

Other helpful hints

Talking to children and adolescents is not the only way to help them negotiate tragic events such as a school shooting. Here are a few additional tips:

  • Protect children from too much information. It is critical to carefully monitor adult conversations, limit media use in children’s presence, and seek support from other adults in private—exposure to disturbing images and conversations about the school shooting can stir up difficult feelings in children of all ages.
  • Keep children busy. Boredom can intensify negative thoughts and behaviors, but children are less likely to experience distress when they play and interact.
  • Ensure that adults receive the attention, support, and care they need. Parenting in the wake of a trauma can be difficult. Adults also need time and space to cope with their own reactions, as well as social support from family, friends, clergy, mental health professionals, and other adults.
  • Seek professional help. Seek professional help if a child’s difficulties do not improve. The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) recommends seeking help if problems persist longer than six weeks.
  • Find age-appropriate ways for children to help. Even very young children benefit from being able to make a positive difference in others’ lives while learning important lessons about empathy, compassion, and gratitude.
  • Emphasize hope and positivity. Children need to feel safe, secure, and positive about their present and future. Seeing and hearing stories of people helping people in difficult times is both healing and reassuring.

Children with direct exposure to a school shooting

Children who directly experience school shootings are at the highest risk of developing posttraumatic stress and related symptoms (e.g., nightmares, trouble eating and sleeping, academic difficulties, excessive crying, clinginess, irritability, withdrawal, aggression, or avoiding the issue altogether). Moreover, upheaval among families, the school, and the community after a shooting can make it especially challenging for adults to maintain the predictable routines and calm demeanor that help children feel safe. In these instances, comprehensive approaches grounded in research on risk and resilience after trauma, such as Psychological First Aid, can be implemented. This may enhance both parents’ and children’s sense of safety, orient and soothe survivors, provide assistance to address a family’s immediate needs, and connect survivors with social support and services.

Additional resources

Helping Young Children Who Have Experienced Trauma: Policies and Strategies for Early Care and Education

Parenting a Child Who Has Experienced Trauma

Child Trauma Toolkit for Educators

Talking to Children about the Shooting

DAV Donor Connect

There has been a lot of negativity happening lately in the world. The recent school shootings which have occurred since January serve as a constant reminder of how we need to cherish every minute of every day and show those around us we appreciate them and what they have done for us. The Donor Connect is a great way to show veterans and their families the sacrifices they made are appreciated by being a donor or helping to connect items to veterans in need. I want you all to know how much I appreciate the assistance you have given to ensure our veterans and their family’s needs are not forgotten.

Please share the information contained in this email with people who may benefit from it or share my contact information with them.

Donor Connect 2.16.18.pdf

Have a wonderful weekend


Stephanie Zeimetz
St. Cloud VA HSC
Donor Connect
(320)828-6761 (Donor Connect)
(320) 252-1670 ext 6676 (Transportation)

2018 Military Mental Health Conference

You are formally invited to the 2018 Military Mental Health conference!

“Together – Serving Those Who Serve: Behind the Uniform”

Subject: 2018 Military Mental Health Conference

When: Thursday, April 26 – Friday, April 27, 2018

Where: Camp Ripley Training Center
15000 Highway 115
Little Falls, MN 56345

Even if you cannot personally attend, please forward this invitation along to anyone and everyone you think might be interested.

For more information and to register visit:

Military Mental Health Conference 2018 Flyer.pdf

Troy A. Davidson
Program Manager
Resilience, Risk Reduction, & Suicide Prevention (R3SP)

Minneapolis Legal Clinic for Veterans

A reminder that MN Assistance Council for Veterans (MACV) offers legal clinics for ANY veteran or currently serving service member in the state, this is an amazing free resource for those with legal issues or questions.

MACV is hosting a legal clinic for veterans on March 13th at the Minneapolis VA. Please distribute this information to veterans who may need civil or family legal assistance. For more information, please contact Sara Sommarstrom (651) 224-0292.

Information on additional upcoming Legal Clinic’s in Anoka and St Cloud can be found here:

March 2018 Drop In MPLS.pdf


Annette Brechon Kuyper
Director of Military Outreach
Minnesota Department of Military Affairs
20 West 12th Street
Saint Paul, MN 55155-2004
Office: 651.282.4002
Cell: 651.955.3108

Medical Equipment Connection

I was contacted by Eddy with Injury Physicians in the metro area who stated one of his locations has closed and they have a surplus of random medical equipment to include Striker brand stretchers and x-ray equipment. Being the Donor Connect is unable to pick up or store these items I wanted to make this opportunity available to the Donor Connect Network in case there are items to fill needs of veterans you know or their family members.

If interested please contact Eddy at 612-840-2727


Stephanie Zeimetz
St. Cloud VA HSC
Donor Connect
(320)828-6761 (Donor Connect)
(320) 252-1670 ext 6676 (Transportation)


PBYR Participates in the Greenwood Elementary School Community Service Event

PBYR proudly participated in the Greenwood Elementary School Community Service Program on Feb. 9, 2018.  This was our 2nd participation and we have been invited back for next year!  The student and parents were again super and they were very generous with the following donations:

  • $400.00 Holiday Gift cards
  • $400.00 Cub Gift cards
  • The students wrote letters and drew beautiful pictures for service members.

The gift card donations will be used to assist service members and their families and such donated gifts are very helpful to the PBYR mission. The Family Assistance Center will locate a deployed service member or Chaplain to receive the pictures to distribute.


“Si” , a 5th grader served as our assistant and he did a super job at the event!!


UPDATE: April 27, 2018



MDH Job and Grant Listings

Jobs and opportunities

Equity Coordinator Position open at the Minnesota Department of Human Services

Closing date February 26, 2018

The Equity Coordinator will provide guidance and support to division directors, managers, and staff in the Community Supports Administration (CSA) at the Minnesota Department of Human Services on equity-related issues and activities. This position will also be responsible for facilitating the CSA’s internal equity initiatives. With the support of the division directors, this person will coordinate with staff at all levels to assess equity and inclusion awareness/capacity, identify activities to build equity and inclusion, and implement those activities at all levels of the Administration. This position will work in partnership with the CSA Equity Committee to achieve alignment with the DHS Equity Policy. Equity is a key part of the CSA Strategic Plan and the Equity Coordinator will also play a role in supporting the work outlined in the Plan.

To learn more about this position and to apply please visit the State of Minnesota Job Posting site (Job ID # 19859)


Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program (AMFDP)

Deadline: March 15, 2018

Harold Amos was the first African-American to chair a department at Harvard Medical School. Honor his legacy and create yours.

The Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program believes the health care landscape requires diverse leadership. The program offers four-year postdoctoral research awards to increase the number of physicians, dentists, and nurses from historically disadvantaged backgrounds.The Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program (AMFDP) offers four-year postdoctoral research awards to increase the number of physicians, dentists, and nurses from historically disadvantaged backgrounds who are committed to:

  • Developing careers and achieving senior rank in academic medicine, dentistry, or nursing;
  • Fostering the development of succeeding classes of physicians, dentists, and nurses from historically disadvantaged backgrounds;
  • Improving the health of underserved populations; and/or
  • Working toward understanding and eliminating health disparities by achieving senior rank in academic medicine, dentistry, or nursing.

To learn more, please visit the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation website.

Funding opportunities

Early Childhood Care and Education: Health Equity in Action Grant

Deadline April 10

Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation is offering the following grant opportunity: Early Childhood Care and Education: Health Equity in Action will provide grants of up to $100,000 each per year. Applicants can apply for one or two-year grants. A total of up to $1M will be available over two years.

Program details and eligibility criteria can be found in the funding guidelines.

Applications are due on Tuesday, April 10, 2018, at 4 p.m. Central Time, through the online application system.

To learn more visit the BCBS Foundation website

Nonprofit Capacity-Building Grants: Management Improvement Fund

No deadline

Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation and The Saint Paul Foundation have partnered to offer capacity-building grants to nonprofits across Minnesota through the Management Improvement Fund. Qualified nonprofits can apply for grants to support projects that strengthen organizations through strategic planning, program evaluation, governance, racial equity, financial planning and more. To learn more, visit the Saint Paul Foundation website.