In 2019, if someone had told Christine Harvey that a global pandemic would separate her from her soldier husband for over a year, she would not have believed them. However, due to a stop-movement order from the military, Christine and her husband had not seen each other for over a year. With no reunion in sight and everyday becoming a struggle - Christine felt trapped. She didn’t want to sit and count the minutes, waiting for an answer on when she would next see her husband, so she sprang into action.
OVERCOME AND ADAPT
Military life is full of unpredictability, but COVID-19 has created instability. As the coronavirus continues, military families are facing unique stressors. “Some families were mid-move and got stuck living in hotels. Their household goods were already on a moving truck and they ended their rental leases or sold their homes. They’re feeling displaced and don’t know how long they’ll have to live that way,” said Christine. “But if I had to say one thing about military families, it’s that we have an exceptional ability to overcome and adapt. We understand this is for the safety of our entire military community and we will get through this together.”
The American Red Cross has showed up for Christine in her time of need to provide physical, emotional and spiritual care. Now, as the need grows, Christine is showing up for her community as a Red Cross volunteer, providing care kits to quarantined military families. She delivers these kits throughout McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey. “Some military families are quarantined without the ability to purchase their own food and necessities and are allowed no in-person contact with others. We are trying to alleviate some of that stress by providing essentials and even some non-essentials through comfort kits. For example, a chocolate bar and a friendly note aren’t essential to survive, but they sure can go a long way in improving someone’s day.”
COVID CONTINUES BUT COMMUNITY GROWS
At the start of the pandemic, Christine was concerned about isolation – from her husband and community. As the months continued, she shares that the Red Cross has been her way to stay connected with the military community. Working alongside other military spouses strengthens her, even if sometimes it involves a good deal of commiserating.
Recently, Christine represented the Red Cross at a townhall with New Jersey Senator Cory Booker. She shared with him that getting up and doing something impactful for others has helped her. As she put it – “I’m proud to be a part of that healing for my community.”
COMFORT KITS MAKE A DIFFERENCE
The Red Cross distributes comfort kits across the globe to U.S. service members, veterans and their families in need. This year, the global pandemic has put a strain on military and veteran’s hospitals. As a result, the Red Cross is providing comfort kits to U.S. military treatment facilities and veterans hospitals across the globe. Comfort kits are also being supplied to quarantined military families and deployed troops overseas. Kits contain food, drink, cards, hygiene essentials, cards and more.
If you would like to donate to support families whose lives are upended by disasters and humanitarian crises around the world, help them by making a donation at redcross.org/gift.