Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Red Cross

I've been doing some work with the Emergency Services section of the East Georgia Chapter of the Red Cross. What I've learned has opened my eyes some. We all know that the Red Cross will assist during natural disasters but they do much more than hand out coffee. They provide shelters to the disaster victims as well as food and water. The Red Cross works with community partners and refers out clients to those partner agencies, based on needs, for things such as small business loans, house rebuilding loans, and personal loans. They don't give the loans, the partner agencies do that. They are NOT a government agency and are funded by donations from the individuals and business in the communities they serve. They also respond to house fires, when notified, and provide assistance, on a case by case basis, with housing, medicines, and some cash. For our Service members, the Red Cross is chartered by Congress to verify emergency leave requests and pass them to each of the service branches so they can pass the requests to the service member’s command. Each service members command makes the decision to grant or deny this leave. In some of these cases financial aid is requested. The Red Cross submits the request with documentation to the Military Aid Society and it grants or denies the request. All these services and they're done, mostly, by volunteers! These volunteers may have regular jobs during the day or night or may be retired. They are extensively trained by the local chapters, at no charge. There are about five basic courses all volunteers are given and then specific training for each area they choose to 'specialize' in. The Red Cross is extremely proud of these volunteers and their dedication to serve their community. Are you interested? Please click on the link(http://eastgeorgia.redcross.org/ ) and check it out. Also, next time you see a Red Cross volunteer, tell them thank you!!

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