The Comfort Crew for Military Kids

With You All the Way!

Austin, TX   |  www.comfortcrew.org

Mission

The mission of the Comfort Crew for Military Kids is to provide proven resources to help military kids and their family connect and build resiliency in the face of extraordinary challenges.

Ruling year info

2008

Co-founder and Executive Director

Ronda Englander

Main address

8127 Mesa Dr Ste B206 #117 Austin, TX

Austin, TX 78759 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Trevor Romain Foundation

EIN

26-0141940

NTEE code info

Youth Development Programs (O50)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

This generation of military children have grown up carrying the weight of multiple deployments, navigating the reintegration process when the parent returns, moving every 2-3 years, and the real threat of injury or death of a parent. Very few organizations recognize their sacrifice and offer meaningful support to build resilience for the extraordinary challenges they experience.

Many of these children regularly deal with the anxiety, fear, and stress that comes from having a parent deployed abroad which may lead to trouble in school, bullying, substance abuse, and increased risky behavior. Though minimal research has been done to assess the lasting effects of deployment, experts believe that the service members and their families live with the scars of deployment for decades.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

With You All the Way! Dealing With Deployment

The With You All the Way! Dealing With Deployment program provides strategies that support resilience during all phases of the deployment cycle.

This comprehensive set of resources guides families as they prepare for a deployment, offers strategies for staying connected while separated, and helps families plan for their homecoming.

The core messages in these resources emphasize preparation, communication, and strategies to process emotions. Over 200,000 military kids participate in this program. It is requested by military support organizations, school counselors and educators, as well as parents. Families needing these resources can request them through our on-line Military Families portal.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Families

The Helping Military Children Handle Loss program ensures that military children who lose a loved one to war, suicide or death receive the support necessary to not only cope with their loss but thrive in the after math of war. The resources and services aim to help military children feel connected and supported so they know they are not alone during this difficult time.

The Grief Comfort Kit is centered around the Parents Choice Gold award-winning animated DVD, "What on Earth Do You Do When Someone Dies?”, which uses gentle humor, original music, and a compassionate story-line to explain loss to children.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Families

The Taking Care of You! Support for Kids of Injured Heroes Program supports families and children who are experiencing a loved one’s return from deployment with visible and/or invisible injuries. Military children who request resources through our on-line Military Families portal are given immediate access to age-appropriate support materials. These materials are packaged in our Taking Care of You! Kit and include a caregiver guide for parents. With this kit, families are encouraged to support one another when challenged with the obstacles of reintegration.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Families

The With You All the Way! World Tour is designed to let military kids know - We Are With You All the Way! We meet directly with military kids at their schools and create a safe environment where they can be free to express how they are feeling in front of their peers. The With You All the Way! Tour shows military kids that they are never alone.

Since 2010, the With You All the Way! Tour has visited over 250,000 military kids, sharing Trevor's vital and upbeat message emphasizing the importance of caring for one another and developing valuable strategies for dealing with the unique challenges of military life.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Families

This set of resources focus on the unique challenges families experience during the reintegration phase of the deployment cycle.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Families

Where we work

Number of participants engaged in programs

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Percent of participants who reported that the deployment kit helped his or her child/family.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Related Program

With You All the Way! Dealing With Deployment

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Data is collected from an online survey emailed to families who request resources. The survey is sent 45 days after the request for resources has been made.

Percent of participants who reported that the deployment kit was effective or very effective for helping the child discuss his or her feelings.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Related Program

With You All the Way! Dealing With Deployment

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Data is collected from an online survey emailed to families who request resources. The survey is sent 45 days after the request for resources has been made.

Percent of participants who reported that their child initiated a conversation about the deployment at least once per week after receiving the deployment kit.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Related Program

With You All the Way! Dealing With Deployment

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Data is collected from an online survey emailed to families who request resources. The survey is sent 45 days after the request for resources has been made.

Percent of participants who reported they would recommend The Comfort Crew to a friend or family member.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Related Program

With You All the Way! Dealing With Deployment

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Data is collected from an online survey emailed to families who request resources. The survey is sent 45 days after the request for resources has been made.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Mission: The Comfort Crew for Military Kids provides proven resources to help military kids and their family connect and build resiliency in the face of extraordinary challenges.

Vision: Create a world where all communities understand, nurture, and care for the needs of our military children.

Goal of the Program:
1. Ensure that all Military Kids with deployed parents have the necessary tools to cope with their parent's deployment and the reintegration following an extended separation.
2. Ensure that military kids and families are informed about the difficulties faced during and after deployment and are prepared to not just survive but to thrive in spite of those difficulties.

Resources housed in Comfort Kits for military children ages 6-12 are distributed directly to families. Eligible families are given the opportunity to enroll in one CCMK's programs online through the CCMK resource portal. Once a family fills out the request form and they have been verified as a military child in the target age range, they are mailed the requested Comfort Kit. The enrolled family receive three automated emails: Comfort Kit is on the way, Kit effectiveness survey 45 days after request, and opportunity to request follow up resource 30 days after return date from deployment. Bulk orders for deployment events are taken individually over the phone or via email.

CCMK presents the With You All the Way! Tour featuring Trevor Romain. The With You All the Way Tour format is customized to reflect the developmental needs, interests, level of sophistication, and subjects that appeal to age/grade of the audience. The presentation is 1 hour 15 minutes and travels to Elementary and Middle Schools around the world, on and near US military installations, and includes the following:

The Core Message - 25 Minutes
Trevor shares personal, heartfelt stories from his lifetime spent working with youth. He builds trust and rapport with his unique brand of humor. Challenges like frequent moves, deployment, and reintegration are introduced and discussed alongside issues like bullying, friendships, and making good choices.

The Movie - 25 Minutes
Following the Core Message, students view an animated video from Trevor's award-winning PBS series. The videos will speak to kids in their own language and will extend information on issues pertinent to military and non-military students, normalize the experiences growing up in a military family, and connect youth with each other through animated characters.

Interactive Session - 25 Minutes
Led by Trevor, this integral part of the presentation allows youth to participate in a discussion and express their feelings, fears, and concerns in a safe environment. Trevor wraps up the presentation with positive messages of support and encouragement and reinforces the healthy coping strategies the students have learned.

CCMK co-founders and leadership staff are all military connected and have firsthand experience with both the extraordinary opportunities as well as difficult life challenges that come with growing up in a military family. We believe deeply that it is our duty to rise to the occasion and provided the critical support military kids need.

CCMK has distributed about 300,000 Comfort Kits since 2010. In addition, we have sold about 0,000 kits to other partner organizations. Since July 2013, we have received 800 request orders for resources through our online family portal that have been funded through CCMK sponsorships and donations. We have collected output and outcome data for those kits shipped.

Through our partnership with The Trevor Romain Company, a children's educational media group, CCMK is the rare exception where school districts provide access to students during the instructional day. The tour presentation has been seen by over 350,000 students during the past 10 years. This privilege makes us uniquely qualified to offer an assembly that promotes open communication, self-reflection, and dialogue that will help military kids develop lifelong skills to build resiliency. The program goals include:
• Help military kids, their families and schools develop positive channels of communication.
• Acknowledge the common stressors and emotions associated with growing up in a military family
• Promoting emotional health with strategies to express emotions in a meaningful way
• Maintaining positive friendships and support outside of the family
• Strategies for families to communicate complex feelings.
• Ensure that all school age military kids learn how to process and cope with the challenges of military life, and speak up for themselves when they need help from an adult.
• Connect with military children all over the world through shared experience.
• Create a safe place where military kids can share their feelings and talk about their unique experiences.

Indirectly, the program will contribute to supporting military families as a whole and increases levels of family stability during sustained separations, deployment, reintegration, and injuries.

1. The 2013 Launch of the Military Web portal has allowed us to collect information on families receiving our resources and has made our resources more accessible to military families, especially the National Guard, Reserve and Veteran populations.
When the Military Family Webportal was launched in 2013, the verification process of requiring an additional email limited the number of people who requested kits from receiving them. CCMK was able to identify this problem due to families either mistaking the additional email as a confirmation email and/or not realizing additional action was required. CCMK revised the request form to include all verification questions and was able to eliminate a second actions from being required, increasing the number of eligible families who received the kits to 100%. Another issue was underestimating the shipping cost for individual kits. While shipping in bulk to deployment kits runs around $2.50 per kit, shipping directly to families was much higher. In March 2015, CCMK was approved for a CPP discounted rate through USPS. CCMK has been able to cut costs in half by processing and scheduling volunteers to pack kits in the CCMK office every Friday morning.

2. In 2013, CCMK began to interview military kids and families on the topic of reintegration. The Comfort Crew held a Symposium in DC for expert panelist to discuss reintegration and react to vignettes from the interviews, In 201, CCMK developed and began distributing the Together Again! Helping Military Families Reconnect Kit to help families with reintegration after a time of separation due to deployment. This resource is now available on the CCMK Military Family Web portal.

3. The Bringing Families Back Together Deployment Pilot Program was launched in fall 2014 with funding from the CCMK annual fundraiser, Boots and Birdies Charity Classic. Training educators and counselors working with military kids, along with the donation of CCMK resources has increased our reach to more families. During the first four training sessions, CCMK worked with two groups that included educators, parents, and kids and two group that did not include kids. While all four sessions were successful, CCMK was able to learn differences and how to adjust the presentation accordingly. Since the initial pilot program, CCMK has received three grants to expand the pilot program to Abilene and San Antonio.

4. The With You All the Way! Tour expanded to middle school students. A new age-appropriate animated movie was created and is shown during those tour presentations as well as a new resource pack.

Financials

The Comfort Crew for Military Kids
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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The Comfort Crew for Military Kids

Board of directors
as of 6/24/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Jim Kozlowski

Venturi Wealth Management, Senior Managing Director of Private Equity

Jim Kozlowski

Venturi Wealth Management

Charlie Hooker

Retired, Former Army Ranger

Mike Mackey

The Baker Group LP

Trevor Romain

Trevor Romain Company

Gen (R) Al Aycock

Corvias

Bryan Schneider

Sandalwood Management, Inc.

Angela Salyer

Comfort Crew for Military Kids

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 6/24/2021,

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data