The American Red Cross is known around the world for its charitable work. It is not uncommon to regularly hear about the organization’s assistance in alleviating suffering associated with disasters, providing lifesaving blood, offering health and safety courses, and assisting America’s military families. The story often untold, however, is that of the person selflessly giving their time to better the Red Cross’ mission.
In June of 2015, the St. Louis Area Chapter received one of its most impactful volunteers. Known around the office as one of the sweetest and often described as a “super volunteer,” Velma Clark answered the call to help when she discovered that the Service to Armed Forces department needed help with a project providing holiday cards to heroes.
“Holidays for Heroes,” as the project is now called, is the Red Cross’ effort to provide holiday cards to active service members serving away from home. Velma, along with her team of fellow Service to Armed Forces volunteers, collects cards from schools, churches, veteran associations, and communities not only in the Missouri and Illinois region, but from across the nation. Velma noted that people from across the US catch wind of their efforts and feel the need to help the cause. This past winter, the St. Louis team was able to collect and distribute over 64,000 holiday cards to service members stationed away from their families. The project gave much joy to the members of our service that were unable to spend the season with their loved ones.
Now that the holiday season has passed, Velma and her team are spearheading another project—The Women Warriors Baby Shower. The American Red Cross and VA Medical Center are teaming up to throw a baby shower for expectant and new mothers (with infants up to six months). In celebration of the St. Louis Chapter’s 100th year, Velma and her team are anticipating celebrating motherhood for 100 women. Members of the US Armed Forces with E-7 or below, spouses of our military, and women veterans receiving care through the VA are encouraged to register for the event.
To many, Velma’s commitment to serving the Red Cross seems heroic, but to her it’s second nature. She loves to work with people, and especially enjoys being in an environment such as the Red Cross “The people here don’t just talk the talk,” she said, “they truly walk the walk.” Here at the Red Cross, Velma knows that everyone genuinely cares about the lives they are impacting—and that makes all the effort priceless.
If you or someone you know is interested in participating in The Women Warriors Baby Shower, register by calling 314-516-2702 or emailing Velma Clark at firstname.lastname@example.org