Meet BCause Box Charity Partner: Esquimalt Military Family Resource Centre

We joined Esquimalt Military Family Resource Centre to learn more about their organization. The greatest takeaway is that no one is exempt from social issues like housing, rising costs, and food insecurity, including military families. In addition, they also face uncertainty such as deployment or transferring and moving to a new base. This is where the Esquimalt Military Family Resource Centre steps in! They provide support to families in a variety of ways as they navigate military family life. We're proud to be supporting a community-focused solution. Learn more about them below. 

Q: What is the Esquimalt Military Family Resource Centre

My name is Jackie Carle and I am the Executive Director of Esquimalt Military Family Resource Centre (MFRC). I have been working in military family services for 25 years and have a personal connection as I’ve had family members serve in the military.

The Esquimalt Military Family Resource Centre is a non-profit organization that connects and supports military and veteran families in this vibrant Community. Our purpose is to support them through all aspects of the military family life—unpredictable, geographical relocations. It’s very important to us that we help them settle into a new community and all that it entails. We offer support to children, families, and extended members of military families and specialize in all aspects of military family life… we have highly professional staff, uphold people’s privacy, and families know we’re here to help them navigate, settle in, and cope with all that this lifestyle involves.

Q: Can you describe some of Esquimalt Military Family Resource Centre's programs?

Our programs center around all the things military family life entails, so we have welcome and relocation programs to help people get integrated into their new community, we offer respite care for families who need a little bit of extra support, and child minding services and other programs for children and families with a focus on supporting diverse families and needs.

We also support families through work-related absences such as deployment overseas. Military families will see their members away from their homes for 2, 4, or 6 months, a year in locations around the world. This often means a lot of coping skills required and there is an element of concern for their safety which can create a level of stress for families. So we offer a counselling space and a team of professional social workers and counsellors to support families as well as the above-mentioned services.

Q: What is currently happening at Esquimalt Military Family Resource Centre?

Currently, the team at MFRC is working with the families impacted by the deployment of their loved ones at sea. We have three ships away, they left in August and will be back just before Christmas. There's been a lot of family life happening while they're away—children are being born, learning how to walk, going back to school, all kinds of things. Our job is to support these families at home and keep them connected with their members.

For example, we offer deployment workshops for children. When talking about deployment, is when a military member is away from home due to their work so we have ships around the world as well as land-based deployments. And this space is an opportunity for children to come together, learn about where their parents are, have fun doing arts and crafts, and an opportunity to talk about what it’s like having a parent away. 4 months is a long time to have one of their important people away from home so we’ve developed the curriculum here and shared it across the country to other military family services and are very proud of this program. The art and craft they make will also oftentimes be sent to the ships so their parents can see their work! 

To support the Esquimalt Military Family Resource Centre, subscribe to the EMFRC BCause Box, and 5% of every box is donated to the organization.