Services to the Armed Forces

Since Clara Barton founded the American Red Cross during the Civil War, the organization has had a close relationship with the military. Today, the Service to the Armed Forces Program helps meet the needs of a changing military by ensuring that active-duty and community-based service members, veterans and their families have worldwide access to timely and reliable humanitarian services such as emergency communications, financial assistance and information and referral.

The Greater Cincinnati/Ohio River Valley Chapter also provides local services, such as:

• Holiday Mail for Heroes | Each winter, the Chapter collects holiday cards created or signed by local individuals and businesses, including school children, and distributes them to the VAs, nursing homes, local military units and any other place where active or retired veterans are located. This includes the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport for those travelling through the region at the time. Although this is a national Red Cross campaign, all cards in the area are collected by the local Chapter and distributed locally. In 2014, the Chapter collected and distributed more than 30,000 Holiday Mail for Heroes cards.

• Job Preparation Fair | The Chapter partners with a number of other military-focused organizations in the area to host a Job Preparation Fair that teaches resume writing, offers job interview practice with local HR employees and breaks down how military skills translate into the civilian world.

• Community Outreach | The Chapter participates in local military events, including Yellow Ribbon events, pre- and post-deployment events and community events.

• Emergency Communication Messages | When a family member has an emergency and needs to get in touch with a deployed service member, Red Cross workers nationally use advanced communications technologies to facilitate the communications. The local Chapter then do follow-up calls to make sure the service member received the emergency communication message and if the family has any additional needs.

• Supporting the Volunteer Activities of the VA | This includes baby showers for pregnany female veterans, the Women Veterans Heart Event, Your Day at the VA and Take a Vet Fishing.