Blue Star Families is a nonprofit organization that is committed to strengthening military families by connecting them with their neighbors to create a bond of mutual support.
The Tampa chapter of Blue Star Families meets every second Tuesday of the month at the Bloomingdale Starbucks, located at 1920 Bloomingdale Ave., at 11 a.m.
Blue Star Families Tampa chapter director Suzy Malloy started the Bloomingdale Coffee Connect group in June of 2021. Sponsored through a partnership with Starbucks, there are Coffee Connects in over 200 communities around the country. Coffee Connects provide an opportunity for friendships to grow and connections to be made. Malloy said Blue Star Families supports the military by creating connections within the community.
“We welcome everybody. Everybody who has a military connection can be a Blue Star Family,” Malloy said.
Malloy is a military spouse. Her husband, Ron, is just shy of 33 years of active duty in the Navy. She knows from experience that when military families are connected in the community, the military member and their families are stronger.
“For some people, this is a pass-through duty station. Other people settle here, and they have made the Tampa Bay region home. Coffee Connects is about connections. People chit chat about upcoming events. Newer-to-the-community members can ask questions about the area,” Malloy said.
The Tampa Bay area has a large military population, and the Tampa chapter regularly hosts events for members in the community. In 2022, the chapter hosted 114 local events, Malloy said.
Membership with Blue Star Families is free. To join, visit https://community.bluestarfam.org/.
For more information about the Tampa chapter of Blue Star Families, email email@example.com or visit its Facebook page @TampaBayBSF.