Red Cross selling magnets to link soldiers, families

Thursday, September 30, 2004

The American Red Cross provides a link for soldiers and their families when they are separated during an illness, a birth or a death.

Now the Southeast Missouri Chapter of that organization is asking the community to help make those links by donating money to the cause.

"There's been a huge escalation in the number of messages and emergency correspondence between soldiers and their families since 9-11," said Southeast Missouri Chapter executive director Mary Burton.

Community members can aid troops and their families by purchasing magnetic ribbons with patriotic colors and themes. All funds raised will support the Southeast Missouri Chapter of the American Red Cross armed forces emergency services program.

The magnets are available at the Southeast Missouri Chapter of the American Red Cross, 2430 Myra Drive, Cape Girardeau; Auffenberg Chrysler-Plymouth-Dodge; Back Porch Antiques; Cape Girardeau County Republican Committee Headquarters; Kidd's convenience stores; and the Southeast Missourian.

"We know there is a demand for this product within our community and we are excited to provide a venue for those wanting to show their support of our military," Burton said.

The Red Cross is the sole agency designated to provide emergency communications for the U.S. military under the 1905 congressional charter. Other nonemergency communications they provide include health and welfare, safe arrival, powers of attorney, renewal of ID cards and household maintenance issues.

The organization also helps military personnel obtain information, referral and advocacy in understanding government benefits. Additionally, the Red Cross can counsel the family or service members on how to make requests for humanitarian reassignment and hardship discharge and offers confidential counseling services to active duty, National Guard and Reserve personnel and their families.

cpagano@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 133

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