Depending on the reason for your upcoming family reunion, you may be able to secure grant money to help bring everyone together. While several sources offer grants to help refugees and immigrant families reunite, you may have to tap the family patriarch for financial assistance for a standard extended-family get-together. Some families even fund a scholarship both to honor an ancestor and help a student in the group with college expenses.
Military Grants for Family Reunions
The American Red Cross administers grants made available by aid societies associated with each branch of the U.S. military. The grants cover travel expenses, accommodations and incidental costs involved in reuniting military personnel with family members. Generally, these grants are intended for emergency reunions due to death, illness or being wounded in the course of duty.
Grants for Immigrant and Refugee Family Reunions
In the United States, charitable organizations such as Catholic Services offer grants to refugees who have relocated from their native countries due to racial or religious persecution or social ostracism. In the UK, private charities such as the Refugee Welcome Trust offer limited grants to facilitate reunification of immigrant families in the UK.
Family Reunion Scholarships
Many families have established scholarship funds associated with their reunion organizations. For example, the Cole Hampton Lee organization offers a yearly scholarship for undergraduate and graduate studies to a family member, plus a hardship scholarship to help children attend their reunion who may otherwise be financially unable. The Rowan Family Reunion organization offers a scholarship in honor of ancestor James Robert Crump to an applicant who has attended a minimum of one Rowan Family Reunion.
Family reunions are often joyous celebrations that generally include not only family members but also their friends and neighbors. If you long to attend your family reunion but do not have the financial means to do so, spread the word through the family grapevine; perhaps a generous, financially well-off relative may wish to help. You can repay the debt of kindness by volunteering your time in future years to help organize the event or host out-of-town attendees.