This post is part of #GivingTuesday's #WomenWhoGive series, which celebrates women who are making a difference in their communities.

Carrie Holmquist, Co-Founder, Heart on a Mission

What inspired you to start giving?

For me, there has always been a deep fire in me to wanted to help others some way or another, and I believe that fire started as a young girl from my one of my grandmothers who was very involved in clubs and organizations that served others. 

My first go at helping others was choosing to receive my degree in education, as I wanted to help educate our youth. I spent three years teaching middle school and was also a co-leader of an FRG during one of my husband's deployments. When I took a break from teaching to be home with two of my three small children, I volunteered on the PTO board with my oldest's school at the time, before meeting Schenley Green, Co-Founder of Heart on a Mission who completely changed my life in a transformational way. Together we both worked together to create Hearts on a Mission (HOAM) in a response to fill the essential “need to belong” for military families, in order to support the readiness and resilience of the service member. 

We both desire for military families to have a community, a HOAM away from home, no matter where they move. Military families experience many transitions. HOAM can decrease the unique stressors of military life by building wellness communities at any established location. HOAM builds wellness communities based upon the principles of servant leadership, through connection, movement, and service. HOAM connects military communities with surrounding communities, provides weekly fitness opportunities, mentors individuals to become servant leaders, and serves the community through acts of kindness.

What does giving mean to you? Why do you continue to give your time, talents, money, or more to your community? 

Giving means stepping out of my head, and self, seeking a need or a hole that needs filling. Filling the gap when someone simply cannot. I have a deep desire to help military families have a community of encouragement and belonging no matter where they move because moving and restarting every couple of years is not easy on the heart. I want to also help provide opportunities for military spouses to serve in leadership positions to feel valued and purposeful as well as keep their resumes current as they continue to travel in support of their active duty military service member.  

What would you tell others who are looking to start giving back? 

Serving others will fill your heart with so much joy, knowing that you were able to help someone or something in need. But, I will tell you that service is not easy or convenient and that it takes many hours to make a change. On those days, never forget your reason for starting.

Please share a favorite moment or story from when you volunteered or donated to an organization. 

Seeing Heart on a Mission reach 100 volunteer servant leaders was a very memorable moment. To know that we have been a part of creating that many leaders is very humbling!