FAYETTE COUNTY, WV (WOAY) – The American Red Cross is known for its ability to step in and help communities in times of need through blood drives and disaster relief, but what you might not know is that they also help out members of the armed forces and their families.
“We also offer resiliency workshops, we offer pre-deployment workshops for family and the service member,” said Red Cross Volunteer Chea Wilson. “We can put the service members and their families in touch with coinciding services and also financial aid assistance. We don’t provide it, but we can put them in touch with the ones who do.”
Chea Wilson is one of the volunteers who works with the service members as they enter the Military Entrance Processing Station. Her job is to provide the service members and their families with contact information so they can stay in touch in case of emergencies.
Wilson served in the Air Force for eight years and wanted to help with veterans affairs when she retired, but after attending a training decided to volunteer to help the new recruits as the enter the military.
“It’s so cool because you see scared faces, excited faces, faces that think they got it all under control,” Wilson said. “You see all of these different service members brand new not knowing what to expect and so as a vet and being there at one point it’s really neat. I can see myself in a lot of these new service members and it’s really neat.”
The Red Cross is always looking for volunteers and Wilson says that being a volunteer is a great way to give back to your community.
“We have so many opportunities in the community not just with the MEPS. We are needing some people in the VA hospital and some of these workshops and things like that,” said Wilson. “We just have a lot of opportunities for volunteer work in the community and you don’t just have to be the Fayetteville or Oak Hill area, we have volunteers all across the United States.”
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer with the Red Cross you can call them at 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).