By Alicia Lacy
Fort Hood Herald
To celebrate Red Cross Month, the Fort Hood Red Cross opened its doors recently to make the community more aware of the organizations and the services and programs offered.
Located in a small, white house adjacent to the Warrior Way Commissary, the Fort Hood Red Cross' primary focus is the military community and emergency communication between soldiers and their families during serious family situations, along with providing health and safety courses and disaster services, said Gail Pierce, station chair.
In 2009, Pierce said the organization made 5,821 emergency messages between soldiers and families.
In addition, the Red Cross' volunteer program enables teenagers and adults to volunteer at various locations across the post, including various departments at Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center, TRICARE, Fisher House, dental clinics and the Red Cross.
The program averages about 78 volunteers per month with the total number of volunteer hours worked about 2,000.
Pierce said there is always a need for more volunteers.
In the summer, the organization's summer youth program allows teens 15 to 18 years old to earn volunteer hours and experience through the Red Cross.
The Fort Hood Red Cross, along with the Fort Hood Dental Command, offers its volunteers who have a valid military ID card the opportunity to participate in a dental assistant training program, allowing participants to work as a dental assistant upon completion.
In order to be considered, volunteers must have worked at least 75 volunteer hours, complete an interview and be selected.
The program only selects 12 participants every year.
The Red Cross is funded by donations from the Fort Hood Officers' Wives Club, Fort Hood Enlisted Spouses Club and the Consolidated Chaplain's Fund for the volunteer program, information from the Red Cross states.
The Fort Hood Red Cross has a branch at Darnall and works with the Heart of Texas Red Cross Chapter, which has offices in Killeen, Temple and Waco.
For more information about the Fort Hood Red Cross, call the main office at (254) 287-0400.