Home Front Hearts was founded in September 2008 by Randi Cairns, a military spouse. Randi’s husband Ian, like so many of our military members, watched his career path change from “weekend warrior” to “full-time soldier” after the events of September 11, 2001. Randi, who had spent her entire career helping those in need, realized that her mission in life had also changed. “I was in a new world struggling to ‘keep it together’ on the home front. To make sure the kids were hanging in there and that the house remained standing and that life remained as ‘normal’ as is possible when someone we loved was a world away and in danger. And I knew I wasn't alone.” Home Front Hearts was born of Randi’s desire to honor those who serve and their families.
Until early 2010, Randi ran Home Front Hearts on her own while also juggling a deployed husband, four children, an outside job, and graduate studies. During this time, she created the Home Front Hearts resource pages, connected military families in need with assistance, built partnerships, and recruited volunteers. Randi and her volunteers provided assistance and resource referrals to many military families and also managed to ship countless boxes of clothes, shoes, school supplies, and winter wear to children in Afghanistan for her husband’s team to distribute.
Grant funding in 2010 allowed Randi to expand her team. The Home Front Hearts’ team combines over three decades of experience in the nonprofit sector with firsthand experience of the challenges facing military families. We too are military families. We are able to build community connections because we "get it" – we know the lifestyle because we "live it". We have helped hundreds of military families located across the United States.
We're not guessing what military families need or presuming to understand – this is personal for us and each day we try to care for these families the same way we'd want someone to care for ours.