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Red Cross prepares to assist in mobilized unit

The American Red Cross Pike County Office is making plans to assist the members of the 900th Maintenance Company of the Alabama National Guard in Brundidge and their families during the company’s mobilization in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Jane Thrash, Red Cross Pike County Office director, will attend a family preparedness meeting at Frazer United Methodist Church in Montgomery on Saturday, May 22 to assist the guardsmen and their family with issues of insurance, financial concerns and emergency services during the mobilization of the 900th.

“The American Red Cross Pike County Office is in the process of preparing comfort kits to send with each member of the 900th who is a part of the mobilization,” Thrash said. “The Red Cross will partner with East Central Mental Health in Brundidge in the packing of these kits. The Troy University Campus Red Cross will help with the sorting of the items for the kits.”

The American Red Cross Pike County Office at 131 S.A. Graham Blvd. in Brundidge will be the collection site for the comfort kit items.

“We are planning for 250 comfort kits to be sent with the 900th as part of the American Red Cross Armed Forces Emergency Services Program,” Thrash said. “Donations are needed immediately so that items can be sorted and packaged for the departure date which has not been officially released at this time.”

The list of items for the departure comfort packs includes Ziplock gallon bags, trial size toothbrushes and toothpaste, deodorant, white bath cloths, hand sanitizer, pocket packets of Kleenex, trail sizes of shaving cream, soap and hand lotion, disposable razors, band aids, and small combs and brushes.

“We also want to include hand held games, wrapped hard candy, Dominoes, beef jerky, small puzzle books and playing cards in the kits,” Thrash said.

“We hope that the community will participate in the collection of these items for the comfort kits as these men and women of the 900th go in defense of freedom. They are the defenders of our country here at home and then are called to defend freedom in foreign lands. They need and deserve our support.”

The American Red Cross Pike County Office will sponsor blood drives at several locations during the early summer months.

The first will be from 1 until 5 p.m. on May 23 at Wal-Mart Troy. There will be several blood drives during the month of June. Dates to be announced.

“We need volunteers for our blood drives and we also need trained counselors who will be available when needed and ministers who will be available for spiritual counseling,” Thrash said.

“Anyone who would like to volunteer with the American Red Cross during this time of mobilization of our local unit of the Alabama National Guard is encouraged to call 334-536-0632 for more information.”