FORT MYERS — 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 South Florida.
“Military families experience emergencies, just like civilian families,” said Jill Palmer, executive director of the Florida Gulf Coast to Heartland Chapter. “Except oftentimes they go through a crisis separated from a family member who is deployed. 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.”
Answer emergency calls with the 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.
• In 2021, here in South Florida, the Red Cross has provided 6,865 emergency services to military families.
Volunteer at a military or veteran hospital.
The Red Cross has medical and non-medical volunteers that help provide care, comfort and therapy at military medical facilities in the U.S. and all around the world.
• 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.
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 South Florida Red Cross provided more than 208 military members and 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 (SAFGP) 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 like Lockheed Martin Corporation, 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.