By Joe Traylor
During my time at college, I became friends with many students that were part of the Reserve Officer Training Corps, commonly known as ROTC. It never really dawned on me that they would be going overseas to Afghanistan and Iraq. These are some of my best friends, and they are fighting for my life. Now that the season of giving is at hand, I decided to give back to them.
I began searching for ways to donate to the military. Then the American Red Cross came to mind. Their Holiday Gift Catalog was exactly what I was looking for. The catalog has three ways to help the troops. One is Emergency Communications. This delivers urgent messages to service members that may require them to come home to tend to family emergencies. Another way to help our troops is through Reconnection Workshops. The Reconnection Workshops are small-group classes held by mental professionals to help returning service workers readjust to society. Though these two are excellent services for the military, I chose to go with the Military Comfort Kits.
While the thought of one of my friends getting injured makes me feel ill, knowing that the military comfort kits helps an injured soldier makes me feel reassured. That is why I went with the Military Comfort Kit. These kits go to military hospitals and are given to wounded soldiers. In the kits are items such as a robes, shower shoes, toiletries, and even music gift cards. Knowing my friends, I know that a gift like this would put a smile on their face. And that makes me feel that I am truly contributing to their, and other wounded soldiers’, well-being.
Regardless of all of the other gifts I have bought this year, these kits make me feel like I actually made a difference; that I gave a real gift for Christmas. For $100, I gave two comfort kits to two different individuals. I encourage everyone to donate in some way through the Red Cross. It is a gift that really matters, and it gave me a feeling of bettering the world. It could do the same for you. There are many other ways to donate aside from helping the troops. You can find the one that is most important to you. Let the Red Cross help you give with meaning this year.