Avon’s Sparky the Dog Helps Comfort Military Children as They Say Goodbye

Although she may be a little young to enjoy her Sparky the Dog now, this baby will have something from Daddy nearby while he's gone.

Saying goodbye to a loved one who’s deploying is never easy.  Robin Crouse, the Center Director at USO Fort Hood, thought she might have just the thing to provide the kids of those deploying a little something to remember Mom or Dad by.

Avon had recently donated dozens of their “Sparky the Dog” plush toys, and families were given one to ease the strain of separation.  Crouse had this to say about Avon, “They will be so pleased to see they brought smiles to the faces of so many kids at Fort Hood.”

We hope you enjoy this video of that day.  To learn more about Avon’s support of the USO, please click here.

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The Sesame Street/USO Experience for Military Families heads stateside PLUS a New Initiative from Sesame Workshop

Young fans embraced their favorite furry red monster during a performance of the Sesame Street/USO Experience for Military Families at RAF Mildenhall in England September 8, 2009. (USO Photo by Fred Greaves)

If you’re a regular blog reader, you’ve probably heard about and seen pictures from The Sesame Street/USO Experience for Military Families tour that travel around the world.  Across nine countries and 76 military bases, thousands of military kids and their parents have enjoyed the performances of Elmo, Grover, Cookie Monster, Rosita and Zoe, beloved characters from the award-winning television series.

We’re thrilled to announce that The Sesame Street/USO Experience for Military Families is back in the U.S. after an around-the-world tour.  The show, which is exclusively for military families, kicks off its second swing through the U.S. on April 17, at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

“There is no denying the positive impact this tour is having on our nation’s military community,” said Sloan Gibson, USO president.  “We listen to our troops and understand the challenges they face at home, and are proud to call Sesame Workshop our partner in helping to ease the daily stresses on military families.”  Bookmark this page for updated tour schedules and more.

The tour serves as an extension of traditional USO entertainment tours and a continuation of Sesame Workshop’s award-winning Talk, Listen, Connect initiative – which provides vital resources and emotional support to military families with young children coping with challenging transitions in their lives.

This partnership has been wonderful for the USO, as well as Sesame Workshop.  In his latest blog post, Sesame Workshop’s President and CEO Gary E. Knell has this to say: “One of the most rewarding parts about being here at Sesame Workshop is the honest ability to make a difference in this world. Five years ago, I was outraged at the lack of resources available to military families. Today, I’m proud that Sesame Street is able to help.”

Now, we’re proud to announce a new installment in this initiative, When Families Grieve, which will kick-off nationally with a one-hour televised special hosted by Katie Couric and airing on PBS stations (check local listings).  Beginning April 15, the multimedia, bi-lingual (English and Spanish) outreach kit will be available at www.sesamestreet.org/grief.

Outreach kits on the previous three installments of Talk, Listen, Connect are available on their website currently, and continue to make a difference in the lives of military children everywhere.  So set your DVRs, bookmark the website, and take a moment to watch a short video on last’s years unveiling of the “Deployments” kit…

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