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American Red Cross Support for Military Families

American Red Cross support for Military families

For nearly 140 years, the American Red Cross has helped the United States military, veterans and their families prepare for, manage and respond to the challenges of service. The legacy continues as the Red Cross serves the military community 24/7, throughout their military service and as veterans. In hometowns across America to military installations around the world, the Red Cross is there.

Emergency services — Hero Care Network

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Learn more about American Red Cross support programs for military families such as emergency messaging, financial assistance, the Hero Care Network and more.

When a crisis arises for a military family, the Red Cross provides emergency communications that link active-duty and community-based service members and families through the Red Cross Hero Care Network. The Hero Care Network is free, confidential and assists 24/7/365.

In an emergency (serious illness, death or birth) involving an immediate family member, military families can initiate a request for Red Cross emergency assistance and the Red Cross will verify and deliver the message.

Use the options below to access services through the Hero Care Network:

Family members should provide the following information when initiating a request:

  • The service member’s name, rank, Social Security number and unit address
  • The name of the person with the emergency and the nature of the situation
  • The name and contact information for the medical authority to contact regarding the status of the emergency

Access to financial assistance — Hero Care Network

As part of the Hero Care Network, the Red Cross works with military aid societies to connect eligible military, retired military, veterans and their families with financial assistance in times of hardship. This assistance can include funds for emergency travel, food and shelter. The Red Cross helps to facilitate the application process and the military aid society determines eligibility and offers the financial package.

To access services through the Hero Care Network, create an account and file for assistance, text “GETHEROCARE to 90999 or call a Hero Care specialist at 877-272-7337.

Resiliency workshops and Military/Veteran Caregiver Network

The Red Cross offers a variety of free, confidential, online and in-person resiliency workshops led by licensed mental health professionals. Workshops seek to improve well-being and build skills. Workshops and courses include:

  • PTSD: Learn more about this silent disorder.
  • Coping with Deployments: Increase family resiliency during deployments.
  • Reconnection courses: Build skills in defusing anger, communicating as a family and managing stress. Courses for children and teens build communication skills and teach coping techniques.
  • Mind-Body Workshops: Discover mind-body practices to cope with stress and trauma.

The Military and Veteran Caregiver Network is led by caregivers for caregivers. This network offers peer-based support, connection, resources, training and workshops for caregivers to wounded, ill or aging service members and veterans. The MVCN also supports veterans who are in a caregiver role.

COVID-19 support

The Red Cross understands that COVID-19 continues to impact military and veteran communities. To help safeguard military and veteran families and stop the spread of the virus, the Red Cross has modified the way it delivers programs and services.

  • Hero Care Network still offers 24/7 emergency services, but the workers and volunteers are working remotely.
  • The Red Cross is assisting The Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States, or EANGUS, We Care for America Foundation with disbursing interest-free loans to National Guard personnel through the Red Cross electronic fund distribution process. National Guard members and families with a verified financial need due to hardships created by the COVID-19 pandemic can submit applications here. Loans are available in amounts from $500 to $2,000. Repayment terms are based on the loan amount.
  • All resiliency courses and workshops are now virtual.
  • The Red Cross launched a COVID-19 specific online course for military and veteran families needing help with stress specific to COVID-19.The course also covers creating a communication plan and setting goals while quarantined.
  • The Military and Veteran Caregiver Network is offering online communities and virtual workshops [OE4] for caregivers of injured military and veterans to socialize and learn care tips.
  • All Red Cross pre-deployment briefings are now virtual.
  • Volunteers continue to help at veteran and military hospitals as requested by the hospitals, including professional clinical volunteers and non-clinical volunteers. Socially-distanced animal visitations are taking place for military families, veterans and medical staff outside of military and veteran hospitals.
  • In Europe, volunteers are assisting military installations with contact tracing efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19.
  • The Red Cross is seeking anyone who can sew to help sew face coverings that the Red Cross will distribute to all military/veteran hospitals and military installations for the Service to the Armed Forces Face Covering Project. The Red Cross is also distributing comfort kits to military and veteran hospitals and quarantined military families.

Information and community resources

The Red Cross worldwide network of offices can assist you with information and referrals to national and local resources. For assistance, contact your local Red Cross.

Disaster assistance

When disaster strikes, the Red Cross is there, responding to emergencies, helping military families who have been severely affected. Contact 877-272-7337 for assistance.

Domestic and international training available

The Red Cross also offers training to help prepare military families for emergencies and to enhance employment skills.

In partnership with many U.S. military installations across the globe, the Red Cross offers dental, pharmacy technician and medical assistant training programs.

To best prepare for emergencies, the Red Cross offers training opportunities. Contact your local Red Cross to learn what training is available in your community.

  • CPR/ automated external defibrillator training (infant, child and adult)
  • First aid training
  • Lifeguarding
  • Water safety instruction
  • Babysitter training

Volunteer opportunities — In the U.S. and around the world

The Red Cross depends on volunteers to help meet the needs of military and veteran communities across the globe. Many of our volunteers include military family members looking for an opportunity to support their community. Volunteering is a great way to help while building your resume.

The Red Cross has clinical and non-clinical volunteer opportunities in veteran and military hospitals. Medical volunteers, such as certified doctors and nurses, help support hospital staff to free them up to focus on priority patients. Non-medical volunteers help with a variety of programs, including manning coffee and snack stations and book carts; providing art and garden therapy classes; assisting with animal visitation programs; and distributing care and comfort items.

Other types of volunteer opportunities include:

  • Facilitating in-person and online resiliency workshops
  • Running job training courses for military spouses
  • Picking up and distributing Military Entrance Processing Stations cards
  • Meeting with new military family members to share deployment education information
  • Disaster response coordinators
  • CPR and first aid instructors and so much more.

Help others, meet new people, learn new skills and build your resume through volunteering. Contact your local Red Cross for a list of opportunities in your community.

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