By Colleen Flaherty
Fort Hood Herald
Red Cross Month is in full swing at Fort Hood's main Red Cross office, with workshops, volunteer orientations and training throughout March.
Staff and volunteers held an open house at the Red Cross Main Office inside the historic Reynolds House Thursday to advertise services and recruit new volunteers.
The Red Cross hopes to recruit 500 with its current drive, said senior station manager Mary Basiliere.
"We're a humanitarian organization led by volunteers," said Basiliere, one of three paid staff members. "We've got a congressional charter to provide disaster relief and prevention and to respond to emergencies."
While many volunteers work at Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center, said volunteer chairperson Rebecca Schoffman, numerous other volunteer tasks include fund-raising, disaster planning and youth leadership.
Board member Annette Wiggins gave her husband, First Army Division West commander Maj. Gen. Perry Wiggins, a tour of the facility that brought the general back to his childhood.
"One of my earliest memories is swimming lessons (at the Red Cross)," he said. "You impact a lot of children who probably don't even recognize it's the Red Cross. A lot of people just see the red shorts and think it's just what lifeguards wear."
Basiliere said the Red Cross provides services that people may take for granted in good times, such as disaster relief. But there are also services designed to enhance the quality of life and education of area families, she said, including baby-sitting and CPR classes.
In addition to its more traditional offerings, the Red Cross is also holding a dental assistant training program in conjunction with the Fort Hood Dental Activity. The class starts in September.
Annette Wiggins said she believes in the Red Cross mission and has volunteered at offices at several different duty stations.
Its global nature and reputation as a professional organization make it a good time investment for military spouses looking to gain professional experience as volunteers, she said. "Whatever skills you learn, you can add to your resume."
Contact Colleen Flaherty at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7559. Follow her on Twitter at KDHFortHood.
Red Cross Month
Events at the Fort Hood Red Cross include:
Friday and March 17: Adult/pediatric CPR and first aid training
March 15 and 31: Baby-sitting training
March 21: Reconnection workshops
March 27: Disaster services workshop
Information tables and volunteer orientations are scheduled throughout the month. For more information, including times, locations and fees, call (254) 287-0400. The Red Cross Main Office is in the Reynolds "White" House next to the Warrior Way Commissary on Warrior Way.