Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Red Crossers serve as Santa’s Helpers for Colorado National Guard

Santa with Vincent Herra-Rue (age 3) and Red Cross
 Volunteer Thea Wasche, at Santa’s Workshop with
Colorado National Guard .
Photo by Lorin Schroeder/American Red Cross
In mid-December the thoughts of many children are focused on Santa and presents. The children of Colorado National Guard families are no different and those thoughts were amplified Dec. 13 when the Colorado National Guard sponsored Santa Workshops for soldiers and families at their armories located in Colorado Springs, Centennial and Grand Junction.

Red Cross volunteers provided hot chocolate and other treats as they worked alongside Guard members to organize and handout presents to families. Of course Santa was there to hand out gifts to the children and to hear their Christmas wishes.

Families select gifts at Santa’s Workshop
with Colorado National Guard - Photo by
 Lorin Schroeder/American Red Cross
More than 300 children and parents attended the events across the State and they were supported by 15 Red Cross volunteers and Colorado National Guard staff. “The wonderful Red Cross volunteers showed up in force,” said Airen Hall, family assistance specialist for the Colorado National Guard. “We can’t imagine how this would work without having their participation.”

Red Cross therapy dog Lacey was on hand to greet the children along with her handler Thea Wasche, a volunteer with the American Red Cross. “Lacey loves children and children really enjoy petting and playing with her,” said Thea. “Therapy dogs like Lacey are great at relieving stress…even at Christmas.”

Lacey and Thea Wasche (Red Cross Volunteer)
welcome Vincent Herra-Rue (R) to Santa’s
Workshop with Colorado National Guard
- Photo by Lorin Schroeder/American Red Cross
This event is put on every year for soldiers and families who might otherwise not have the merriest of holidays. Gifts are provided through donations from individuals, organizations and businesses throughout Colorado.

Additional photos are available on our Flickr page. If you would like to learn more about how the Red Cross supports military families visit our Service to Armed Forces website.

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