Picking up from one place and moving to another is always a hassle, especially when kids and pets are involved. Knowing whom to call or where to find information can help make the transition easier.
American Red Cross
The Red Cross helps members of the military, veterans and their families prepare for, cope with, and respond to, the challenges of military service.
The American Red Cross offers confidential services to all members of the military, veterans, and their families by connecting them with local, state and national resources through the network of chapters in communities across the United States and offices on military installations worldwide.
Local Red Cross offices develop and maintain relationships with key community partners. Military families rely on the Red Cross to help them identify their needs and connect them to the most appropriate Red Cross and community resources. This key Red Cross service includes responding to emergency needs for food, clothing, and shelter, referrals to counseling services (e.g., financial, legal, mental health), respite care for caregivers, and other resources that meet the unique needs of local military members, veterans and their families.
The American Red Cross Emergency Communications Center is available to help 24/7. Call 877-272-7337 or submit an online request at https://saf.redcross.org/css.
Armed Services YMCA
The ASYMCA is made up of 13 branches and about 20 affiliate locations at local Y’s and on some DOD facilities across the U.S.
It makes military life easier by providing programs and services to the young men and women of all five armed services: Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard.
ASYMCA programs, services and events are designed to help the family come together, stay together and have the ability to adjust, bounce back and thrive wherever the services send
them — with a particular focus on junior-enlisted men and women, the individuals on the front lines of defending our nation. Programs are offered at low cost and require no dues or membership fees.
Signature programs include: Angels of the Battlefield Awards Gala, Art and Essay Contest, Military Family Month, Operation Hero, Operation Holiday Joy, Operation Kid Comfort, Operation Outdoors, Operation Ride Home, Parent and Me, Teddy’s Child Watch and YMCA/DOD Military Outreach Initiative.
Find ASYMCA locations by visiting www.asymca.org/locations.
Child Care Aware
Improving access to affordable, quality child care is one of Child Care Aware of America’s top goals. Search the site’s “State by State Resources for Families” to connect with national organizations and associations that provide information for families regarding child development, parenting, and child care concerns and questions.
The site has information on the different types of child care and how to choose the right child care for your family. Financial resources include a child care budgeting calculator and information on federal and state fee assistance. There’s also a special section for military and DOD families with links to military child care fee assistance. To speak with a specialist about military and DOD child care programs, call 800-424-2246, option 6.
Military OneSource is your central hub and go-to-place for the military community. Get to know your benefits and prepare for the big
stuff — deployments, reintegration, moves, parenthood, retirement and more. Browse by topic or search for that strangely specific question you want to know the answers to. No matter where military life takes you, with Military OneSource you will always be in the loop.
Operation Homefront assists military families during difficult financial times by providing food assistance, auto and home repair, vision care, travel and transportation, moving assistance, essential home items, and rent-free transitional housing for wounded veterans and their families.
Helping military families gain long-term stability is a specific concern for Operation Homefront. Homes on the Homefront awards mortgage-free homes, impacting veteran families for generations to come. The caregivers for wounded warriors also need help and that is why Hearts of Valor was formed.
Operation Homefront’s annual gala recognizes extraordinary military kids. The organization also hosts multiple Homefront Celebrations, Star-Spangled Baby Showers, Back-to-School Brigades and Holiday Meals for Military events each year to show appreciation to military spouses.
Visit Operation Homefront online for more information.
Texas Health and Human Services
4900 N. Lamar Blvd.
Austin, TX 78751 512-424-6500
The Texas Health and Human Services’ agencies focus on helping those dealing with aging, disabilities, financial needs, health, mental health and substance use, and safety needs.
The department’s health office offers services to Texas women to ensure safe and healthy pregnancies, protection against domestic violence and a nutrition program to improve the diets of children and their mothers. Economic assistance is given in the form of food stamps and training services for employment opportunities.
Visit the department’s website for more information on services and programs.
United Service Organization
Since 1941, the USO has kept our military men and women connected to their families, home and country no matter where they are or under what conditions they serve. Programs for military families include Couples Seminars: Stronger Families, Comfort Crew for Military Kids, Operation That’s My Dress, United Through Reading, Baby Showers: USO and What to Expect Present Special Delivery and The Sesame Street/USO Experience.
The USO also provides transition services to support Americans’ return to civilian life after completing their military service. For more information, go to www.uso.org/programs/uso-pathfinder.
Visit the USO’s website to find a location near you.
Moves are stressful for everyone — including the family pet. Pets can sense stress and a change in routine can be difficult for them. If possible, keep your pets in a quiet, secure area while movers pack up or unload your belongings. Movers will have your door open while they move boxes and furniture, and a pet may slip out the door undetected. Make sure you keep a collar with an ID tag on your pet at all times. Ensure the tag has your current phone number on it. It is also a good idea to microchip your pets. Remember to keep the microchip’s contact information up-to-date. If your pet escapes during any part of your move, you want the animal shelter that scans the chip to be able to contact you.
In Texas, your pet faces several new dangers, among them is the striped bark scorpion that is no stranger to lashing out at the bare feet of Texans. Thousands of people are stung each year and the neurotoxins that its venom contains can cause anything from vomiting to muscle spasms. While death is very rare, the bites are very painful and cause swelling. Four species of venomous snakes — rattlesnakes, copperheads, water moccasins, and coral snakes — and coyotes pose another danger, so keep your dog on a short leash in wooded areas, especially if it starts sniffing or pawing the ground.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
4200 Smith Road
Austin, TX 78744 800-792-1112
The Wildlife Division’s mission is to manage and conserve the natural and cultural resources of Texas and to provide hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation opportunities for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. To accomplish this mission, division personnel annually conduct about 4,000 wildlife population surveys, provide recommendations concerning the management of about 1,200 vertebrate wildlife species, conduct about a dozen wildlife research studies, manage 50 wildlife management areas totaling 744,000 acres, hold public hunts on more than 230 tracts of land totaling more than 1.4 million acres, provide landowner incentives to manage for rare species, inform the public about wildlife, provide technical guidance to private landowners, and develop more than 8,200 active wildlife management plans for about 30 million acres of private lands.
Humane Society of Central Texas
2032 Circle Road
Waco, TX 76706 254-754-1454
The Humane Society of Central Texas provides adoption, rescue and foster opportunities for the homeless animals at the shelter, as well as community education regarding responsible pet ownership. For more information on the Humane Society’s pet adoption or foster opportunities, visit the website.
Bell County Animal Control
2509 S. Loop 121
Belton, TX 76513 254-933-6780
Bell County Animal Control is a joint effort between Bell County and Belton. The shelter aims to remove problematic animals and provide suitable homes for as many animals as possible.
Pets for Patriots
Pets for Patriots’ vision is to end animal homelessness in the United States while giving our military veterans and their families the greatest “thank you” of all: the extraordinary love of a companion pet. It makes this happen through its nationwide shelter and veterinary networks, military and veteran organizations, and a public that values the lives of both the vulnerable and heroic among us.
To learn more about adopting a pet, visit https://petsforpatriots.org/adopt-a-pet/how-it-works.
Veterinary services in Central Texas are plentiful; see the Military Buyer’s Guide to connect with local providers. Another source for connecting with a veterinarian is the Texas Veterinary Medical Association website https://tvma.azurewebsites.net.