With Thanksgiving officially over, many people are gearing up for the holidays. However, some families may have to stay separated if some of their loved ones are serving in the Armed Forces. During this season of giving, the Red Cross is reaching out to those overseas to let them know their service is appreciated.
The American Red Cross' website features a 2012 Holiday Giving Catalog, where people can browse and choose items to donate. There are a number of items geared toward servicemembers overseas, including the military comfort kit. These kits are geared toward those who are injured overseas and are having a hard time getting comfortable in the treatment facility. Some of the items included in the kit are a phone card, shower shoes, toiletries, a bathrobe and a gift card for MP3 music. Buyers can choose to purchase anywhere from one to 20 kits.
Additionally, the charity is selling phone cards so troops who are unable to return home for the holidays can at least make a call to their loved ones.
These gifts aren't just for people who are serving abroad. There are also items that can go toward helping families upon a servicemember's return. The Red Cross is offering caregiver training that educates family and friends of a servicemember, so he or she can receive proper support upon return home.
For people who do not wish to give a gift but would still like to contribute, the organization is encouraging financial and blood donations, as well as signing a holiday card for the troops.
"In the true spirit of the season, we are asking people to make a lifesaving blood donation, to sign a card for our military heroes, or buy a gift through our holiday giving catalog," Chris Osborne, chief communications officer for the American Red Cross Alabama Region, told Alabama's CBS affiliate WKRG. "Together we can spread hope to those in need – victims of disaster, hospital patients, those in the military."
The Red Cross received a number of generous donations following Hurricane Sandy, and workers there hope they can continue to provide support for people who have experienced smaller disasters this holiday season, the news provider reports.