Red Cross Teaming Up with State Farm to bring Veterans “Totes of Hope”

Red Cross is teaming up with State Farm to provide “Totes of Hope” bags to veterans across the country.

There’s not one way to say thank you. Sometimes a “thank you” can come from a hand-written note or a hug. Sometimes the best way to tell someone thank you is just showing them how much you care.

The Red Cross is saying thank you to veterans in a simple, but effective way. The Red Cross’s “Service to the Armed Forces Project (SAF)” is using the “Totes of Hope” program to give veterans across the country access to simple things, like hygiene products, activity books, small articles of clothing, or whatever a veteran might need.

State Farm Insurance Company is helping gather those donations. Local agents have donation centers set up in their offices to take donations of soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes, gloves, or whatever someone wants to donate. The items will then be bundled into a small tote bag and given to veterans who are in hospitals or nursing homes, or those who are homeless.

Greenville State Farm Agent Abbie Gardner Ballew is excited to particpate in the program because veterans hold a special spot in her heart. Her father was a Vietnam Veteran, and she knows how much this means to the men and women who served their country and are now down on their luck.

“What it does more than anything is let them know that somebody cares,” she says. “It’s not just the items in it, the crossword puzzles and the hand sanitizer, which is great! But it just shows them – this tote is showing them – that people actually care.”

Montgomery Red Cross Representative Hunter Smart says most people don’t associate the Red Cross with programs like this.

Ballew’s office is filling up with hygiene items, gloves and socks, and activity books for the veterans.

“Most people think of ‘Floods and Blood’ when they think of the American Red Cross, but they started right here, with our armed forces,” he says. The Red Cross was actually founded in 1881 by Clara Barton, a nurse who helped soldiers during the Civil War.

Ballew will be taking all of the donations she recieves to the Montgomery Red Cross office on June 6. Smart says the giving doesn’t have to stop there – he says as long as the donations keep coming in, he’ll be happy to pick them up.

Those who wish to donate can drop off contributions to their local State Farm agents’ offices.

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