Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces at the Jesse Brown Stand Down Event



My name is Lucas Centeno and I am an intern with the Chicago Red Cross in their Services to the Armed Forces division. When I was serving in the U.S. Army the Red Cross helped me when I was overseas, and my mother called the Red Cross to get a hold of me because my father was ill. The Red Cross did an amazing job of keeping me and my Commander up to speed with my dad’s condition, and it was an amazing relief for my mom to know that she could get a hold of me thanks to the Red Cross. I personally thank them too.

The Services to the Armed Forces division of the Red Cross offers Armed Forces members and their families services in pre and post deployment readiness, as well as counseling and communications for emergency situations.

I was so happy to attend my first event with the Red Cross, helping local homeless veterans. From the moment I walked in the door I was on the go non-stop with the nearly 50 volunteers and staff from the Red Cross. We helped to put up tents for the different stations, as well as preparing and serving food, and distributing clothing to the 150 veterans who attended. I felt like I was back in basic training but without a drill sergeant hollering in my face. We also helped to serve food to the 150 homeless veterans.

I got to work for an hour with Cindy Price, a local volunteer with Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces. She is the most amazing person you could ever meet. I shared my stories of Iraq and the military with her. Though she was tired and doing three thousand things at once she took the time to tell me in an interview about what she does and why she loves the Red Cross.

Not only did we at the Red Cross make a difference to those veterans in need but I also got to know so many amazing volunteers and staff from the Chicago Red Cross. I am so honored and blessed to be working with the Chicago Red Cross and their SAF division. There are more upcoming events that the Red Cross SAF will be directly involved with and I will definitely keep you posted.

1 comment:

LaToya said...

I volunteered on the second day of that event. We distributed duffle bags, blankets, raincoats, underwear, tshirts, lunches, bus passes and more to over 700 vets! It was amazing and overwhelming. I was so glad to be there. It was a little hectic at first, but then I found myself assisting many of the disabled vets by helping them carry their bags to their cars or bus. I will defintiely help at the next event and although the strenuous lifting and schlepping took a toll on my body it was weel worth it!