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Where Does My Donation Go? A Look Behind the Photos in the Holiday Giving Catalog

Donating to charity feels good. What feels even better is seeing how your donation helps a person down the street, across the country or around the world. Here’s a look behind some of the photos in the Red Cross Holiday Giving Catalog.

A Link to Home When It’s Needed Most

When you're thousands of miles from home, the voice of a loved one can lift your spirits like nothing else. This is especially true for troops deployed overseas.

In August 2010, the Collier County (Fla.) Chapter of the Red Cross sent more than 1,700 donated phone cards to Camp Mike Spann, located in the north of Afghanistan. The 500-minute cards were distributed to service members stationed at remote Forward Operating Bases throughout the northern provinces of the country.

One such service member was Sgt. Julian Chavira of Lubbock, Texas (pictured here), who is serving a 9-month deployment.

Sandra Arnold, who serves at Camp Mike Spann as the Public Affairs Advisory Team Director for ISAF Joint Command, RC North, expressed the impact the phone cards had on the troops:

“I was aware that ‘some’ calling cards were headed my way, but was surprised to see the large donation and knew that it would make many people at this remote base quite happy. We do not have the amenities that larger bases have, therefore the troops are appreciative of anything that is sent this way.

The American Red Cross made so many people smile with the calling cards that were donated to us. As silly as it may sound, I really felt like it was an early Christmas present for them. It is an incredibly useful gift, and to think that people spent time and energy to make the troops' lives more comfortable while they're deployed really made them light up.

Again, I truly thank you, the Collier County Chapter, and the members of the American Red Cross who work hard to ensure those who are less fortunate than us are cared for. You and your organization serve as a reminder to the deployed Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coastguardsmen that while they may be deployed, they are not forgotten.”