Southern, Sweet & Sassy Coffee is passionate about connecting military families one cup at a time, and we are proud to give back to the military community through our #coffeeforacause initiative. This January, we are honored to feature Exceptional Families of the Military.

Organization and Mission

Exceptional Families of the Military (EFM) is inclusive of all branches of military service, and their mission is twofold. EFM works to connect military families with disabilities, special healthcare needs, or additional educational needs in order to better navigate within the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) offered by the Department of Defense. Additionally, they strive to identify areas of needed improvement within EFMP that affect the families they represent.

Exceptional Families of the Military Impact and Programs

The main areas of focus for Exceptional Families of the Military include policy and legislative work, family support groups, and direct advocacy for individual families with Exceptional needs.

Government Policy and Legislative Programs

Exceptional Families of the Military believes that wide, sweeping change is needed for exceptional families across all branches of the military. Their top legislative priorities work to address the significant existing barriers that exceptional family members face across the DoD. Using the data they collect while assisting families, EFM works toward creating long-lasting, systemic changes in the laws and regulations that affect EFMP families. 

To guide this legislative work, Exceptional Families of the Military created the EFMP Blueprint for Change. This document advises the DoD to create an independent commission to recommend best practices to support military families impacted by disabilities.

Some areas of EFM legislative focus include:

  • Advocating for Guard and Reserve families to have permanent or reasonable access to EFMP while on orders.
  • Pushing for military children to receive the same standard of care afforded to civilian children by establishing a pediatric medical necessity standard that aligns with pediatric best practices.
  • Working to strengthen coverage and access to mental, emotional, and behavioral healthcare services and supports.
  • Pushing the DoD to recognize the dependency of incapacitated adult children.

Military Support Groups

EFM recognizes that every time a military family moves, they lose their local support systems and resources, which means starting over from square one. This can have an outsized negative impact on the health and wellbeing of families with exceptional needs. EFM offers support groups specifically designed to be a place of safety and community for military families. Within these groups, military families with exceptional needs can ask for advice and support from others living through similar experiences.

Direct Family Support

When families face difficult issues and all possible solutions have been exhausted, Exceptional Families of the Military will advocate on their behalf. If your family needs support, you can ask EFM for assistance.

Strength Through Shared Stories

EFM encourages exceptional families to share their stories. There is strength in shared experience, and the stories exceptional families offer also have the power to inform legislative and policy changes. Share your story with Exceptional Families of the Military and they will make sure legislators see it. 

Coffee for a Cause

Exceptional Families of the Military is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that works hard to make the world a better place for military families with special needs. 

If you would like to support Exceptional Families of the Military while drinking a great cup of coffee, we’ve got you covered! The S3 January #coffeeforacause is French Vanilla. This single-origin, medium roast is smooth and creamy with the perfect vanilla flavor! During the entire month of January, buy S3’s French Vanilla, and a portion of the proceeds will be donated directly to Exceptional Families of the Military.

To learn more about Exceptional Families of the Military, how you can help, or to find a support group for your exceptional family, please visit the EFM website.

And be sure to follow them on social media!