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WRNMMC, Red Cross Thanks Volunteers

04/17/2017

By WRNMMC Public Affairs Office

Walter Reed Bethesda Chief of Staff Navy Capt. (Dr.) John Rotruck, Command Master Chief Tyrone Willis and American Red Cross (ARC) Senior Station Manager Marin Reynes recognized 12 ARC volunteers during the annual Red Cross Volunteer Recognition lunch on March 22 at the medical center.

March is American Red Cross Month, an observance dating back to 1943 during World War II when ARC volunteers provided services in a number of capacities to assist in the war effort. Since then, every president has designated March as Red Cross Month. Clara Barton established the ARC in Washington, D.C. on May 21, 1881.
In his 2017 proclamation for ARC Month, President Donald Trump states, “For more than 135 years, the American Red Cross has stepped into the breach, providing shelter, food, and emotional support to victims of natural disaster, war, conflict, and unexpected hardship…The Red Cross has proudly and ardently supported our military, our veterans, and their families for more than a century, delivering over 352,000 services to members of the military and veterans each year.”
According to Reynes, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and Naval Support Activity Bethesda have the largest ARC service to the armed forces. “More than 600 volunteers contribute more than 6,000 hours monthly across the Installation…In 2016, Red Cross volunteers contributed 72,105 hours to support service members, veterans and their families receiving care or working at WRNMMC and NSAB.  These contributions are valued at $1,920,877 in volunteer value added.”
Reynes explained the annual lunch serves as a small appreciation to ARC volunteers at WRNMMC and NSAB. “[They’ve] worked hard to support patients, families and staff receiving [and delivering] care here.”
ARC volunteers at WRNMMC and NSAB include active duty service members, civilians, administrative personnel, medical doctors and pets in the Animal Visitation Program. In addition to greeting every wounded, ill and injured service member and his or her family who arrives at WRNMMC by medevac,  volunteers also support Morale, Welfare and Recreation events; manage the Comfort Cart Program, which provides toiletries and other items to service members and their families throughout the hospital; work at the welcome desk in the National Intrepid Center of Excellence; oversee the sewing program near Occupational Therapy; host coffee mornings for patients, veterans and their families; and make weekly visits to preapproved locations as part of the Animal Visitation Program.
Reynes said ARC volunteers provide services in more than 75 clinics throughout the hospital, and during the summer months, an additional 50 youth ARC volunteers participate in the Red Cross VolunTEEN Program.
For more information about volunteering or ARC programs at WRNMMC and NSAB, call 301-295-1538.