National Red Cross Month has been celebrated since March 1943 to recognize all the selfless volunteers for their many contributions in helping others through disasters.
The Red Cross Center at Fort Hood, located at the historic Reynolds House, held an open house March 1 to welcome new volunteers.
“The volunteers really are the strength and the foundation of the Red Cross,” said LaNette Palmer, assistant station manager for the Fort Hood Red Cross Center. “We would not be able to do any of the things we do if it were not for the great volunteers we have.”
People have different reasons for volunteering, but they all want to help others in need, Palmer said.
“The Red Cross is an organization that you can count on,” said Misti Field, a new volunteer. “If you have a spouse or a parent who is deployed, you can contact the Red Cross to possibly find out where they are, and find out if they are OK.”
Field was diagnosed last year with several different types of cancer while her husband was deployed and went through the Red Cross to get the message out to her husband.
“I chose to volunteer because the Red Cross played an instrumental part in my life last year, when they got the message to my husband’s command, who then allowed my husband to come back early from deployment after we found out that I was diagnosed with cancer,” Field said. “The Red Cross did everything they could to bring him home as quickly and safely as possible. We just found out two weeks ago that I am officially cancer-free.”
The Red Cross is always looking for new volunteers, Field said.
“I chose to volunteer because I am a ‘people person.’ I like to help people, and I was raised in a ‘do to others as you would have them do to you,’” she said.
The American Red Cross began May 21, 1881, when Clara Barton and associates formally founded it in Washington, D.C.
The Fort Hood office has been holding activities and events throughout the month in an effort to recruit new volunteers and educate people on a variety of topics, including basic first aid.
“As a leader, knowing that there is an agency there to facilitate the communication and the process of getting a soldier who has an emergency back home,” said Capt. Jamie Cook, a new Red Cross volunteer, “I think is a good enough reason why we as soldiers should support the Red Cross however we can.”
The Fort Hood Red Cross will continue to hold new-volunteer orientations and educational classes in their main office. For more information, call the Fort Hood Red Cross at (254) 287-0400 or stop by and request a calendar of events.