CHARLOTTE — This Veterans Day, Nov. 11, 2020, the American Red Cross honors and remembers veterans during this unprecedented time in our nation’s history. The Red Cross is proud to acknowledge U.S. veterans who are choosing, once again, to serve on the front lines. Today, U.S. veterans are standing up with the Red Cross to stop the spread of the coronavirus affecting military and veteran communities across the globe.
“The Red Cross has supported military and veteran communities for nearly 140 years, including supporting World War I soldiers through the 1918 flu pandemic,” said Allison Taylor, regional CEO for the Greater Carolinas. “Today, veterans across the country are bringing history full circle by lending a hand to safeguard their communities against COVID-19.”
Veteran volunteers are applying their unique, professional skills in a variety of ways. They are assisting doctors and nurses, granting medical staff more time to address urgent patients. Through the Hero Care Network, they answer emergency calls 24/7 to help separated military families. Veterans are putting needle to thread and sewing thousands of face coverings to deliver to military and veteran hospitals in need. They are deploying and responding to back-to-back disasters. They are conducting virtual workshops to combat feelings of isolation in injured veterans and their caregivers. They deliver care packages to quarantined military families in need.
Over the past year here in the Greater Carolinas, Red Cross volunteers have stepped up to support their military and veteran communities in a number of ways:
- Over 50 volunteers have provided support for veterans at VA Medical Centers and Clinics
- Volunteers have sewn 524 face coverings for veterans at the VA Medical Centers and Clinics
- Three teams of volunteers have provided support to almost 1,500 North Carolina military and veteran families who faced deaths, illnesses and injuries or significant financial crises
- Volunteers have contacted over 2,900 military and veteran families virtual critical community outreach to military families
- 235 military families were helped by mental health professionals offering Red Cross in-person and virtual Resiliency workshops
- Several care packages put together and distributed by volunteers and sent to the Craig Joint Theater Hospital at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan
- Over 80% of our Service to the Armed Forces Volunteers are veterans or are family members of veterans.
“This year is unlike any other in our lifetime. The need is so great. It’s pretty humbling to be part of such a great community of fellow veterans who are all willing to step up and support their communities whenever necessary” said David Laws, director of Service to the Armed Forces in the Greater Carolinas Region.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Many Red Cross volunteers are veterans who continue to support their communities after their active duty service ends. Also, about 6% of Red Cross employees include transitioning military or veterans – from nurses to logisticians, emergency management experts, project managers and preparedness experts, as well as a number of veterans in leadership roles at local Red Cross chapters across the country.
Tens of thousands of Red Cross volunteers also serve in Veterans Administration (VA) and military hospitals across the nation and around the world. These volunteers support such areas as rehabilitation, recreation, administration, and personal services to the men and women who are now cared for each day in these facilities. To learn more about how you can give back in your community this Veterans Day, visit redcross.org/volunteer.