ST. LOUIS – This Veterans Day, November 11, 2021, the American Red Cross is honoring veterans.
Last year, in the Missouri-Arkansas Region (which includes some counties in Illinois and Kansas that border the Mississippi and Missouri rivers), the American Red Cross provided nearly 10,000 emergency case services to military members and families. Emergency cases involve sending notification to a service member regarding an unexpected emergency in their families such as an illness or death of a loved one, or a notification of a birth. That breaks down to:
- Nearly 6,500 in Missouri
- Nearly 2,300 in Arkansas
- Approximately 1,200 in Illinois and Kansas counties
Additionally, the Missouri-Arkansas Region provided nearly 8,800 critical community case services to military members, veterans, and families. Critical community case services may include inquiries from military members or veterans who are in need of financial assistance for utilities, car repair, etc. This breaks down to:
- Nearly 4,500 in Missouri
- Nearly 3,200 in Arkansas
- Approximately 1,050 in Illinois and Kansas counties
“Between COVID-19, international conflict and even the impact to communities and livelihoods from repeated natural disasters, mental health has been a struggle for so many of us in the military community,” said April Simpson, Regional Service to Armed Forces Program Director for the Missouri-Arkansas Region. “Our caregivers are serving a vital role on the front lines of this battle, needing more support and resources now than ever.”
Serving more than 8,200 caregivers worldwide, the Military Veteran Caregiver Network (MVCN) offers caregivers peer mentors, peer support groups, an online community as well as mental health, wellness, and resiliency workshops. The network seeks to decrease feelings of isolation, and increase feelings of connection, hope, and well-being.
In recent months, MVCN saw an increase in the use of our Hero Care Resource Directory, which provides access to over 800 resources in every zip code in America specifically designed for veterans, service members, caregivers, and their families.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Many Red Cross volunteers are veterans who continue to support their communities after their active duty service ends. Also, about 6% of Red Cross employees include transitioning military or veterans – from nurses to logisticians, emergency management experts, project managers, and preparedness experts, as well as a number of veterans in leadership roles at local Red Cross chapters across the country.
Tens of thousands of Red Cross volunteers also serve in Veterans Administration (VA) and military hospitals across the nation and around the world. These volunteers support such areas as rehabilitation, recreation, administration, and personal services to the men and women who are now cared for each day in these facilities. To learn more about how you can give back in your community this Veterans Day, visit redcross.org/volunteer.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds, and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.