Army Community Service is turning 54 and the Redstone Arsenal team is pulling out their super powers to help celebrate on July 16 at the Pershing Welcome Center.

Jeannie Johnston, ACS division chief, said an open house will be held 11a.m. to 1 p.m. Refreshments, information and prizes will be given out as the team gets in the spirit of this year’s theme, “Be a Hero – Be Ready.”

Johnston didn’t want to give away all of the surprises ahead of time but everyone who stops by the birthday party will see a variety of super heroes ranging from Wonder Woman to the Trivia Scout Queen of Redstone Arsenal.

“We’re having fun with it,” she said. “The program managers are whipping out their superhero powers to help others strengthen their own super powers within their families by learning how to keep them safe, increase parenting skills, or build up their financial strengths.”

Whether you need help borrowing a blender or want to find a volunteer opportunity, ACS is where you’ll find the help, Johnston said

“This division began with spouses volunteering to look after new families as they arrived on post,” Kathleen Riester said. She oversees Financial Readiness, the Army Emergency Relief, and Mobilization and Deployment. “They would share their pots and pans, literally. It started out that way and evolved over the years into the family of programs we have today.”

Riester’s programs include individual and couple financial counseling to help develop a sound financial action plan. She also provides financial assistance to Soldiers, military retirees and their family members. And she provides training to Soldiers, Department of Defense civilians and their families during all phases of the deployment cycle.

ACS also includes:

• The Family Advocacy Program, which promotes community awareness by teaching individuals to understand, identify and report child and spouse abuse. There’s also a Victim’s Advocacy team, which provides services to victims of domestic violence, 24/7. The program also offers parenting and relationship building advice.

• A New Parent Support Program and ChildWise offers play mornings, home visits, developmental assessments, educational resources, community referrals, and Baby Bundles for military families with children pre-birth to age 3.

• The Survivors Outreach Program assists families of fallen Soldiers by providing educational classes, grief support, outreach events, and memorials to enhance healing.

• The Exceptional Family Member Program works with other military and civilian agencies to provide comprehensive support, housing, educational, medical and personal services to families with special education and medical needs.

• Sexual Harassment/Assault Response Program provides training and assistance to those with questions about sexual harassment and assault. The program advocate provides services to victims of sexual assault.

• The Relocation Assistance Program offers help to Soldiers planning to move by providing information and referral before, during and after the move.

• A Military and Family Life counselor is available to provide nonemergency counseling for military and their families free of charge, and available at a variety of locations.

Johnston said ACS equips people with the skills and education to face the challenges of military life through Armywide standardized programs.

“We hope everyone will take a few minutes to stop by and celebrate with us,” she said. For more information, call 876-5397.

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