This holiday season, Florida's Southern Gulf Chapter of the American Red Cross had its annual Holiday for Heroes campaign. The community donated small items and homemade cards; Red Cross volunteers hand-made holiday stockings; and together with partner Arthrex, Inc. stuffed and delivered over 1,000 stockings to soldiers serving overseas.
Recently, the chapter received a letter of thanks from the station manager at Camp Lemonnier Djibouti expressing how grateful they were for the stockings and what this small gift means to our service men and women.
Dear Volunteers and Staff of the American Red Cross Florida Southern Gulf Chapter,
On behalf of the American Red Cross National Headquarters, Washington, D.C., the Service Men and Women, their Families, and the Combined Joint Task Forces, Horn of Africa and Camp Lemonnier Djibouti, and the American Red Cross volunteers and staff, we would like to express our appreciation your donations of hand-decorated cards for the service members at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti. Please let your volunteers and staff know that our plan is to take the stockings and deliver them at midnight, Christmas Eve, to all the Soldiers who are guarding the installation perimeter and then on to those who are pulling duty at that time throughout the base. We really appreciate the stockings and your thoughtfulness that allow our volunteers to spread the joy of the season as well as giving them a fulfilling task as they are away from their loves ones also.
Your support lends strength and fortitude while they are away from home. Many of the service members and organizations will “re-gift” items to other members as well as drop off items to be shared with the deployed population, especially those further deployed into greater hardship areas. These items are used to support the Red Cross canteen where service members may visit to avail themselves of needed items and also to assist our outreach efforts for the personnel stationed in forward operating areas by mailing boxes or preparing boxes for commanders and first sergeants to take with the for welfare checks on those units. Many service member do not have an extended family to obtain comfort items, have someone who cares, or share a little bit of home. The support of the American People is vital. Your support is crucial to the Service Members and their Families, to let them know that they matter to the citizens and we appreciate their sacrifice.
Your support makes it possible for our office to provide services to the military community such as holiday mail, canteen services, provide information and emergency communication services to the community as well as provide relief to victims of disaster and help people prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies to the Service Members, Retirees, Veterans, and their families back at home.
Please accept the gratitude on behalf of the Service Members and the Families at the Combined Joint Task Force, Horn of Africa and Camp Lemonnier Djibouti and those deployed throughout our area of responsibility.
American Red Cross
To learn more about the Red Cross' Service to the Armed Forces, visit redcross.org/SAF.