By Elvia Kelly, Fort Stewart Public AffairsJune 23, 2011
FORT STEWART, Ga. - Volunteers with red shirts, boxes with hygiene products and tables covered with toiletries filled a room at the American Red Cross office at Fort Stewart’s Soldier Support Center, June 10. The mission is to show Soldiers of the Warrior Transition Unit support and appreciation for their sacrifices.
“The American Red Cross decided to have adult and youth volunteers work together to prepare comfort bags for Soldiers of the (Warrior Transition Unit),” said Alphonsa Oliver, senior station manager for American Red Cross at Fort Stewart. “The Red Cross wants to show our Soldiers how much America appreciates them for the sacrifices they’ve made for our country.”
Volunteers consisting of youth and adults came together to make bags filled with toiletry items like mouth wash, soap, body wash, shampoo, tooth brushes and deodorant.
“We want to give WTU Soldiers hygiene items that they need,” Oliver said. “Maybe they don’t have sufficient hygiene items.”
Oliver said that the American Red Cross received a grant fund from the Department of Defense. They then decided to use some of the funds to provide comfort items for the troops. He wants the WTU Soldiers to know that their sacrifices and contributions do not go unnoticed.
“We want the Soldiers to feel loved and welcomed,” Lesslie Martinez, American Red Cross assistant chair of youth department, said. “Most of the Soldiers are wounded. We made care packages so they know that we care about them. They have been moving from station to station, so they may not have a lot of the stuff they need. They may not have their belongings with them, so we’re trying to accommodate the Soldiers as much as we can.”
Martinez is not only assistant chair of the youth department, but she also represents a growing number of youth volunteers. She finds it rewarding to participate in activities involving assisting others.
“It feels good to know that you have helped people who have helped you in ways you don’t even know,” she said.
For more information about the American Red Cross, call 912-767-2197.