Over the past year, families around the world have been emotionally and physically tested by COVID-19. Frontline workers like our US service members have not stopped during this pandemic, and this service is taking a toll on both them and their children. Therefore, in April of the military child in April, it is more important than ever to celebrate and support military children. The American Red Cross of Orange County offers free services to military families during Military Child Month and year round.
“All members of a military family serve, including military children who experience frequent moves, multiple schools, parental separation, and in some cases loss of a parent,” said Steve Alt, serving with the Director of the Armed Forces with the American Red Traverse Southern California Area. “At the American Red Cross, we know that helping military families as a whole helps develop strong, resilient military children.”
Over the past year, U.S. military families have faced personal hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Military children across the country have experienced prolonged separation from their parents due to prolonged missions, military spouses have lost their jobs leading to financial insecurity, and entire families have been cut off from their support systems despite life not being interrupted during the pandemic. With this in mind, additional support has been needed to protect military children and families from the added emotional, financial, and physical stress that many are experiencing.
In Orange County, military children and parents can find a variety of Red Cross resources for additional assistance:
- Virtual mental wellness courses Mental health professionals are available to help children and parents combat feelings of stress. A variety of courses are available to help military families establish contact during this difficult time. This includes tips for service members on how they can reconnect with their children smoothly after their return from their assignments and how they can cope with longer separation times.
- Families with financial difficulties You can apply for financial assistance from the Red Cross in partnership with the military aid societies by calling the Red Cross Hero Care Network at toll-free 1-877-272-7337 or by contacting the local Red Cross.
- When a military child or spouse experiences an emergencyYou can send an emergency message to the deployed parents to notify them through our Red Cross Hero Care Network by calling toll-free at 1-877-272-7337, visiting redcross.org/herocarenetwork, or downloading a message on the Internet and send Rotkreuz Hero Care App. The American Red Cross Hero Care Center is available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
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