ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. - The Survivor Outreach Services and the Exceptional Family Member programs are collaborating to host their first annual SOS/EFMP holiday craft party Dec. 19, from 3 to 6 p.m.

The event will take place in the Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers Headquarters, Bldg. 2407, located behind the Exchange.

In addition to festive music and games, attendees will design T-shirts, holiday cards, wreaths and puppets, provided by BOSS Soldiers and APG Military and Civilian Community Club volunteers.

"It will be similar to the annual APG Holiday Party, but on a smaller scale," said Survivor Outreach Support Coordinator Annette Sanders. "These events allow people to connect with each other, communicate with others who are going through the same thing. Stay for the whole event, or come for a few hours."

Sanders said the Fort Meade Survivor Outreach financial counselor will be present to talk to about holiday budgeting.

The smaller, more intimate setting should be ideal, especially since children with special needs often feel overwhelmed in large crowds, said Exceptional Family Member Program Manager Nancy Goucher.

"The children can also experience some independence, participating in activities away from their parents," she said.

Goucher said the BOSS Soldiers, who assist with many EFMP events, serve as "good role models" and will be present.

"The holiday event is being held for fun, friendship and community," Goucher said. "It is an opportunity for attendees to recapture childhood memories by decorating cookies, designing ornaments and singing songs."

The event is open to Family and friends who are enrolled in SOS and EFMP. For more information, call Goucher at 410-278-2420 or Sanders at 410-278-2861.

About the SOS and EFMP

SOS is an Army Community Service program that provides short- and long-term support to the loved ones of Soldiers who die while on active duty. EFMP is an Army Community Service Program that works with other military and civilian agencies to provide housing, community support, and personnel services to Families with special needs.