Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Serving those who Serve

Louisville Area Chapter Call Center

A Red Cross branch of service that is sometimes overlooked is Services to the Armed Forces--SAF for short. The American Red Cross is Congressionally chartered to provide emergency communications to members of the military. The basement of the Louisville Area Chapter is home to a call center where volunteers help military members everyday.

To give you a better idea of the help provided, here is a story about Rhonda Mitchell, the mother of a service member recently assisted.

In February of 2010, Rhonda's grandmother, Florence Whiteside took ill, falling into a coma. Concerned with her grandmother’s state, Rhonda contacted the Red Cross to help bring home her son, Anthony Flemister, a Staff Sergeant in the Air Force who was stationed in Okinawa, Japan. Rhonda and Anthony were very close to Florence as she helped raise them both.

Shortly after Anthony returned home, Florence made a miraculous recovery, and Anthony was able to spend time with her before returning to Japan.

Only a few months later, Florence’s sickness returned. On June 26, she passed away, and again the Red Cross was able to help Anthony return home in time to attend his great grandmother’s funeral.

To show their appreciation, both Rhonda and Anthony visited the call center on July 9 to thank Red Cross workers. Rhonda said that of the service they received from the Red Cross, she was most surprised by the follow-up calls from the call center and the empathy from the people she spoke with.

“It was really something to shout on a mountain top about,” she said. “The people act like they really care. They made sure my needs were met.”

To find out more about Red Cross Services to the Armed forces, go to