Christine Welch, Regional Communications Director
With parents on the frontline of this pandemic, local Red Cross continues to provide virtual support for military families
SAN DIEGO, April 5, 2021 — Over the last year, families all over the world have been tested – emotionally and physically – by COVID-19. Frontline workers like our U.S. service members have not stopped throughout this pandemic and this service takes a toll on them as well as their kids. That’s why during this April’s Month of the Military Child, celebrating and supporting military children is more important than ever. The American Red Cross of San Diego and Imperial Counties offers free services for military families during the Month of the Military Child, and all year-round.
“All members of a military family serve, including military children who often experience frequent moves, multiple schools, parental separation and, in some cases, the loss of a parent,” said Steve Alt, Service to the Armed Forces Director at the American Red Cross Southern California Region. “At the American Red Cross, we know that support for military families as a whole helps develops strong, resilient military kids.”
Throughout this last year, U.S. military families have faced personal hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Military children across the country have experienced prolonged separation from parents due to extended deployments, military spouses have lost their jobs resulting in financial insecurity, and whole families have been separated from their support systems, even though life has not paused during the pandemic. In light of that, extra support has been needed to safeguard military kids and families from the added emotional, financial and physical stress felt by many.
In San Diego and Imperial Counties, military children and parents can find a variety of Red Cross resources to get additional support:
- Virtual mental wellness courses offered by mental health professionals are available for kids and parents to combat feelings of stress. A variety of courses are available to help military families connect during this difficult time, including tips for service members on how to smoothly reconnect with their children when they return from deployments and planning for how to manage extended periods of separation.
- Families facing financial hardship can apply for financial assistance through the Red Cross in conjunction with the Military Aid Societies by calling the Red Cross Hero Care Network toll-free at 1-877-272-7337 or by contacting their local Red Cross.
- If a military child or spouse experiences an emergency, they can send an emergency message to the deployed parent to alert them through our Red Cross Hero Care Network by calling toll-free at 1-877-272-7337, visiting redcross.org/herocarenetwork or by downloading and sending a message through the Red Cross Hero Care App. The American Red Cross Hero Care Center is available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
If you are a military parent that is seeking support for your family in San Diego or Imperial County, please visit redcross.org/SoCal or contact Service to the Armed Forces Regional Program Manager Patricia Perez at firstname.lastname@example.org or 619-310-2144. You can also learn more by downloading the Red Cross Hero Care App, available for all devices.
If you would like to volunteer to help support military kids and parents in need, please visit redcross.org/volunteer to sign up.
About the American Red Cross Southern California Region
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 public to perform its mission. The Red Cross Southern California Region proudly serves San Diego, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Imperial Counties. In addition to carrying out disaster preparedness and response programs, blood collection, health and safety training, international services programs and supporting the military community, the Southern California Region provides nutritional counseling through its Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program in San Diego and helps communities prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters through its Prepare SoCal and Prepare San Diego initiatives. For more information, please visit redcross.org/SoCal or cruzrojaamericana.org, or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.