First Lady's Military Family Care Initiative Continues

Minnesota First Lady Mary Pawlenty speaks to military members, family and community leaders at the 148th Fighter Wing Air National Guard Base in Duluth, Minn. July 28, 2010. Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty and the First Lady arrived at the 148th to announce that the First Lady’s Military Family Care Initiative will continue and expand to provide additional assistance to military families under the National Guard’s Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Program. (Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Jason W. Rolfe)

Minnesota First Lady Mary Pawlenty speaks to military members, family and community leaders at the 148th Fighter Wing Air National Guard Base in Duluth, Minn. July 28, 2010. Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty and the First Lady arrived at the 148th to announce that the First Lady’s Military Family Care Initiative will continue and expand to provide additional assistance to military families under the National Guard’s Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Program. (Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Jason W. Rolfe)

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty speaks to military members, family and community leaders at the 148th Fighter Wing Air National Guard Base in Duluth, Minn. July 28, 2010. Governor Pawlenty and the First Lady arrived at the 148th to announce that the First Lady’s Military Family Care Initiative will continue and expand to provide additional assistance to military families under the National Guard’s Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Program. (Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Amie M. Dahl)

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty speaks to military members, family and community leaders at the 148th Fighter Wing Air National Guard Base in Duluth, Minn. July 28, 2010. Governor Pawlenty and the First Lady arrived at the 148th to announce that the First Lady’s Military Family Care Initiative will continue and expand to provide additional assistance to military families under the National Guard’s Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Program. (Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Amie M. Dahl)

Maj. Gen. Larry Shellito, the Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General, introduces Minnesota’s First Lady Mary Pawlenty at the 148th Fighter Wing Air National Guard Base in Duluth, Minn. July 28, 2010. Governor Pawlenty and the First Lady arrived at the 148th to announce that the First Lady’s Military Family Care Initiative will continue and expand to provide additional assistance to military families under the National Guard’s Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Program. (Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Jason W. Rolfe)

Maj. Gen. Larry Shellito, the Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General, introduces Minnesota’s First Lady Mary Pawlenty at the 148th Fighter Wing Air National Guard Base in Duluth, Minn. July 28, 2010. Governor Pawlenty and the First Lady arrived at the 148th to announce that the First Lady’s Military Family Care Initiative will continue and expand to provide additional assistance to military families under the National Guard’s Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Program. (Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Jason W. Rolfe)

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty and First Lady Mary Pawlenty speak to military members, family and community leaders at the 148th Fighter Wing Air National Guard Base in Duluth, Minn. July 28, 2010. Governor Pawlenty and the First Lady arrived at the 148th to announce that the First Lady’s Military Family Care Initiative will continue and expand to provide additional assistance to military families under the National Guard’s Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Program. (Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Amie M. Dahl)

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty and First Lady Mary Pawlenty speak to military members, family and community leaders at the 148th Fighter Wing Air National Guard Base in Duluth, Minn. July 28, 2010. Governor Pawlenty and the First Lady arrived at the 148th to announce that the First Lady’s Military Family Care Initiative will continue and expand to provide additional assistance to military families under the National Guard’s Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Program. (Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Amie M. Dahl)

DULUTH, Minn. -- Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty and First Lady Mary Pawlenty, along with Major General Larry Shellito, the Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General, and Mrs. Evonne Shellito, arrived at the 148th Fighter Wing today to announce that the First Lady's Military Family Care Initiative will continue and expand to provide additional assistance to military families. The web-based program will, going forward, be run by the National Guard's Beyond the Yellow Ribbon program.

The First Lady's web-based Military Family Care Initiative was launched in 2003 and now lists over 350 Minnesota groups and organizations registered to help Minnesota military families. The initiative provides Minnesota military families the tools to locate and contact registered organizations and businesses, within their community who offer services to military families.  Any community organization, faith-based organization or business can sign up through the website www.beyondtheyellowribbon.org.

The success of the initiative has made it a nation-leading model, generating several similar programs in other states. Most recently, North Carolina First Gentleman Bob Eaves launched "Carolina Helping Heroes" based on Mary Pawlenty's Military Family Care Initiative.

"During the last seven years, community-based organizations throughout Minnesota have provided volunteer services to lighten burdens placed on military families during deployment," First Lady Mary Pawlenty said. "Under the National Guard's direction, the Military Family Care Initiative will not only continue, it will expand."

The Beyond the Yellow Ribbon website will also allow local businesses to sign up on the website to be listed and available to help military members. Major General Larry Shellito stated, "I'm often asked, 'How can I help?' If your organization or business would like to offer support, please register at BeyondTheYellowRibbon.org."

From mowing a lawn, picking up a check at a restaurant or providing a discount from a local business, Governor Pawlenty is asking the state of Minnesota to continue to help military family members and stated that "Everybody can do something."