Purple Kids Telethon & Auction

USO of North Carolina and USO Hampton Roads & Central Virginia

Saturday,  April 17, 2021 • 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. ET



The Telethon is a virtual event to raise money and awareness for Purple Kids.

Over 2 million military children have experienced at least one deployment of a parent and 37% of military children report feeling sad and hopeless as a result of worrying about their parent. USO programs give military children and families the tools they need to cope with the unique struggles they face as families serving our country.


On April 17, 2021 from 9 a.m. to 5.pm. USO North Carolina and USO Hampton Roads and Central Virginia (USO HRCV) are celebrating the Month of the Military Child with our first Annual Purple Kids Telethon to raise awareness and funding for the USO’s programming for military children and families. Join us virtually to enjoy local performers, win auction items, and support military children and families!


These are just some of the ways our USO centers support purple kids and their families.

  • Community Connections: Meals — The USO of North Carolina offers a variety of community building food-centric events throughout the state. From family dinners to morale boosting luncheons, these events offer opportunities to build community providing military members and their families with a chance to reconnect through meals. Meals include service member lunches at Fort Bragg, Dinners at Fort Bragg, Jacksonville, Cherry Point and Charlotte as well as dinners four nights a week at the Warrior Transition Battalion for wounded, ill and injured at Fort Bragg. Some USO of NC locations also offer non-perishables to assist service members and their families during times of need.
  • Community Connections: Smiles Over Miles — While service members are deployed, the USO of NC offers families opportunities to stay connected through our Smiles Over Miles program. Families can create DVDs to send to their deployed service members at our USO of NC Fort Bragg and Jacksonville centers. Smiles Over Miles is a free program for Military ID Cardholders.
  • Community Connections: Story Time — Our Jacksonville and Fort Bragg centers offer Storytime events for parents and children. Storytime includes a monthly theme, story, crafts, and snacks for young children and the opportunity for parents to meet others and expand their social networks. Jacksonville offers a weekly Story Time in addition to a special Story Time each month and Fort Bragg offers the program monthly.
  • Family Reset — Family Reset is a two-day on-site health, human service and resiliency program focused on giving all members of military families the hands-on training and tools to better cope with the pressures and challenges associated with the military lifestyle, and reestablishing and improving their own psychological needs, physical and nutritional health, financial literacy, and relationships. Topics include effective communication, outdoor and learning-based play, incorporation of the USO of NC Reading and Study Skills Program, humor, team building, nutrition and health, and community engagement.
  • Camp Innovation — Camp Innovation is a science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) program for military children in grades 6th, 7th and 8th. Sessions are designed to address gaps in STEAM education programs for middle school aged military children. The program encourages creativity and innovation through learning. During sessions, children engage in activities on topics ranging from chemistry to biology, robotics, engineering and more.
  • Read, Write, and You! — A reading program for military children Pre-K through 8th grade, it includes monthly book giveaways to help them build home libraries, and a monthly virtual read-along. Through reading together with a real-time host, children are introduced to new stories and encouraged to write a short letter to their parents, siblings, friends, or deployed service members regarding how they felt after reading their new books.
  • Helping Hands for Heroes Nutrition and Education Center — Our Helping Hands for Heroes: Nutrition and Education Center is a new program designed in response to studies showing that some military families, particular junior-enlisted families, are “food insecure,” defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) as a lack of consistent access to enough food to live an active, healthy life. Our program helps address these challenges, which have been exacerbated by military spouse job losses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Operation Holiday Spirit: OHS was created by the Hampton Roads and Central Virginia community to support and show their appreciation of local military families who are in need during the holiday season. Through OHS, members of the public can support military families by selecting and donating gifts from established wish lists
  • Outdoor Adventure Team — The Outdoor Adventure Team (OAT) is a peer-led health and wellness program designed for service members and their families to connect over physical challenges AND adventure to encourage sustainable, healthy living. Our OAT program treats the warrior and the family as a comprehensive unit, with offerings such as Mommy and Me workouts, paddle boarding, cycling, yoga, running groups, and more!
  • Outdoor Family Fun Adventure (OFFA) — OFFA is an annual day to promote health and wellness through physical activities that are fun for the entire military family. Past offerings included a Fun Run, agility inflatables, Glow-In-The-Dark Yoga, and more! The event encourages military families to bond over outdoor activities to promote a healthy mind and body.
  • Spooky Good Times, A Trunk or Treat Adventure (SGT) — SGT is an annual Halloween celebration to help bridge the gap between local community partners and military families. Families dress up in their favorite costumes and visit trunk-to-trunk to collect goodies and important resources.


For more information or to get involved, contact telethon coordinator Sean Spence at 573-823-1308 or sean@betternonprofits.com, or Kelli Willoughby, Executive Director, USO of North Carolina, 919-840-3000 or kwilloughby@uso.org. 

The USO is a not-for-profit organization and not part of the Department of Defense.