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Support military families in honor of Military Appreciation Month


Mon, May 9th 2022 07:00 am

Volunteer with Red Cross to turn ‘Thank you for your service’ into action

By The American Red Cross

The American Red Cross provides support to our U.S. military community at every step of their career – from the time a service member takes their oath to navigating life as a veteran and each event in between. You can find American Red Cross support of military communities across the globe at military hospitals, on installations locally and overseas and through local chapter offices in every state.

This month, the American Red Cross is inviting people around the country to turn ‘Thank you for your service’ into action. For those with a military background or just a heart for military and veteran communities, opportunities to volunteer and support are available in Western New York.

“Military families experience emergencies, just like civilian families, except oftentimes they go through a crisis separated from a family member who is deployed,” said Lisa Taibi, regional program manager, Service to the Armed Forces Giving Program and international services. “Handling an emergency without your support system can be challenging, but Red Cross volunteers make a huge difference in the lives of our military families through emergency relief.”

In addition to their continued efforts to support active duty and veteran communities, this Military Appreciation Month, Service to the Armed Forces Giving Program volunteers will once again return to Riverdale Cemetery to plant flowers and clean up gravesites in honor of the sacrifice of 47 unclaimed World War I veterans.

Answer Emergency Calls With Hero Care Network

The Red Cross Hero Care Network is a free 24/7 support system for military and veteran families when they are facing life-changing events like the birth of a child, the death of a loved one, a medical emergency or even a financial crisis. The Red Cross is the only organization to provide this emergency messaging service to separated and active-duty military families.

√ Volunteers help serve members each day by answering calls, delivering messages and opening cases to support connections to additional resources.

√ Here in the Western New York Region, the Red Cross has provided emergency services to over 400 military families, including assisting 1,194 new military families and families with a member preparing to deploy over the past 10 months.

Volunteer at Military or Veteran Hospital

In the past fiscal year, Red Cross of Western New York Service to the Armed Forces volunteers have continued to support VA Hospitals within our 27-county footprint through numerous initiatives including garden, music and art therapy programs, clothing for inpatient and homeless veterans, full-size hygiene items, as well as various supplies for homeless veterans’ programs.

√ Medical volunteers: Licensed doctors or nurses help support hospital staff in a variety of ways, including seeing patients in-person or through telehealth, nurse charting, answering calls and more.

√ Non-medical volunteers: Non-medical volunteers help with a variety of programs, including visiting patients; manning coffee, snack and book carts; providing art and garden therapy classes; hosting animal visitation programs; and distributing care and comfort items to patients and medical staff.

√ Over the last year, the Red Cross has distributed over 2,500 care and therapy items at medical facilities and helped rehabilitate over 500 patients.

Teach Mental Wellness Workshops

The Red Cross conducts mental wellness courses, called resiliency workshops, for military and veteran families.

√ Programs are free, confidential, and offered in-person or online by licensed mental health professionals.

√ The programs help service members, veterans and their families build resilience, manage stress and address trauma.

√ Mental health professionals serve as volunteer leaders of resiliency workshops for military and veteran communities.

√ Over the last year, the Red Cross provided nearly 100 military families with support through resiliency workshops.

Volunteer today. Turn your appreciation into action by volunteering with the Red Cross today. To learn more, visit redcross.org/volunteer or contact your local Red Cross chapter to learn about open availabilities.

Visit www.redcross.org/saf for full information about programs that support military communities.

National Donors Join Long Legacy of Red Cross Military Support

Generous donations from Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces Giving Program members enable the American Red Cross to maintain a global network of thousands of volunteers and employees to support the military 365 days a year through emergency communications, training, community resources and support to ill and injured service members and veterans. Contributions from partners such as Lockheed Martin Corp., Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co., USAA and Wilf Family Foundations ensure the Red Cross is there 24/7 to provide comfort and care to members of the military, veterans and their families as they prepare for, cope with and respond to the challenges of military service. 

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit on Twitter at @RedCross.

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