Military Women “Voices of Victory”

April 17, 2014
Not pictured is Wanda Weeks, leader

Military Women “Voices of Victory” Leaders and Guest Speaker

Yvonne McJetters is a community activist, a veteran advocate, a female “Gulf War” veteran and a self-proclaimed unsung she-ro from Charlotte. On January 1, 2013, McJetters established the group “Voices of Victory” for military women, birthed to educate the community and to serve and bring awareness about the lives of “women warriors.”

Military Women “Voices of Victory” is a part of Yvonne’s Place Support Services for veterans and is an organization designed to be the voice, support system, and advocacy network in the community to support and address issues relevant to female veterans. It is dedicated to assisting those who are currently serving and giving honor and remembrance to those who have previously served in any branch during any era of service in the United States military.

The organization is here to protect, enhance and advocate for female veterans, and connect them to resources and services that may or may not be military specific.

In an effort to strengthen and enhance the group, the American Red Cross recently joined forces. The Red Cross champions five critical segments, and one of those service areas is to provide support to members of the military and their families. “Since uniting with the Red Cross the organization has yielded a great response,” McJetters said. “Let’s learn from each other what traits we share in common that makes us more alike than different.” She feels that it is her duty to provide a safe place to gather together and dialogue the voices of women warriors in her community and connect with other communities around her.

For more information, contact Robin Callahan, regional coordinator, Services to the Armed Forces for American Red Cross at

Photo: Left to Right -  Jennifer Bingham, Veteran Leader; Yvonne McJetters, Veteran Leader;  Debra Kidd,LtCol Debra Kidd, USAF ANG *Guest Speaker;         Robin Callahan, Veteran Leader.

Not Picured: Wanda Weeks, Veteran Leader

Ft. Hood Hero to Continue Legacy of Service

March 2, 2014


Sgt. Matt Cooke’s mother, Diane Frappier and stepfather, Jerry Frappier

The military family has given everything when their child joins the military … The Red Cross is there to have their back, to say we’re part of your family and we’re going to do everything to take care of you.

Posted February 24, 2014 , by Jodi D. Sheedy, American Red Cross

In the wake of tragedy, every day heroes rise to the challenges whether it is traveling to a disaster to help, answering an emergency call from a military family member, or in the case of Sgt. Matt Cooke, using your own body to shield a fellow soldier from further gunshots.

In 2009, Cooke was hit by five bullets during the Ft. Hood shooting in Texas when he threw himself on top of another wounded soldier. Cooke had already served two tours in Iraq and was preparing for a third tour in Afghanistan when the shooting occurred on the U.S. Army base. Miraculously, Cooke survived and is now medically retired from the military, but the healing process continues as he takes it day by day.

As part of his recovery, Cooke plans to volunteer with the American Red Cross.

“It’s me giving back to the Red Cross for what they did,” said Cooke. Cooke received 12 units of blood at the hospital following the shooting.

Cooke’s mother, Diane Frappier and stepfather, Jerry Frappier, who have been at Cooke’s side throughout the recovery process, have longstanding ties to the Red Cross. For 11 years, Jerry has volunteered with Red Cross Disaster Services Technology, working on 26 large disaster responses across the country. In addition, both Jerry and Diane volunteer with their local disaster team, helping to respond to home fires in their community and teaching as disaster instructors.

After the shooting at Ft. Hood, Diane decided to also volunteer with the Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces (SAF), serving as a regional case coordinator.

“That’s what got me started with SAF – to see what they had done – the Red Cross was there,” said Diane. “They were in the waiting room with us when we were at the hospital. There was a Red Cross canteen set up on the floor. That’s what got me started.”

Diane has a personal and compassionate perspective when it comes to her work with emergency communications between military members and their families, recalling her own worst nightmare when she first heard her son had been shot.

“With everything that I have experienced with my son, with trying to get in touch with him, with him being gravely injured, I can understand,” said Diane. “When I am talking to a client and they are panicking, I have been through that panic so I can try to help them work through it.”

“The military family has given everything when their child joins the military,” Jerry continued. “The Red Cross is there to have their back, to say we’re part of your family and we’re going to do everything to take care of you.”

Both Diane and Jerry have received tremendous support from the Red Cross over the years and you can tell they are proud that Cooke will continue on the road to recovery by giving back with that same organization.

“Jerry has established a fabulous Red Cross family throughout the United States,” said Diane. “It’s such a support system. The family unit of the American Red Cross – It’s family. It really really is a family.”

When asked why Cooke was going to begin helping others through the Red Cross while he continued on his own difficult journey of recovery, he responded, “It’s a role or routine that has been installed in me since I graduated boot camp in 1998. It’s a way of giving back to people, to the community, to society. You are used to putting your life on the line constantly for individuals, soldiers – It means a lot, to me at least, to keep giving what I can.”

Learn more about Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces.

Tags: Ft. Hood, SAF.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.


Red Cross Responds to Storm Across South, East; Hundreds of Blood Drives Cancelled

February 13, 2014

The American Red Cross is responding to the huge winter storm barreling up the East Coast and asking people to give blood to make up for the blood drives canceled due to the storm.

The storm has caused the cancellation of about 265 Red Cross blood drives in the south and along the East Coast, resulting in nearly 9,300 uncollected blood and platelet donations. More are expected as the storm moves north. Back-to-back winter storms had already canceled more than 1,000 blood drives in 34 states and Washington, D.C. this year before this latest storm.

All blood types are needed now and will be needed in the coming weeks to help ensure blood is available for patients. If someone lives in a region unaffected by the storm and is eligible to give blood, the Red Cross asks that they please consider making an appointment to donate blood or platelets.

Appointments to give blood can be made online at or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS. To give blood, someone must be at least 17 years of age, meet weight and height requirements and be in general good health. Donors should bring their Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID with them. Some states allow 16-year-olds to give with parental consent.

RED CROSS RESPONSE The Red Cross is responding across much of the South into the Northeast to help the millions of people affected by heavy snow and ice and widespread power outages. More than 700 people across eight states spent Wednesday night in 110 Red Cross and community shelters and warming centers. As the storm moves northward, the Red Cross is working with emergency officials and has additional workers, relief supplies and emergency vehicles in position to help as needed.

“The Red Cross has shelters and warming centers open now and has workers and equipment standing by to help in other areas as this storm moves northward,” said Richard Reed, senior vice president of disaster cycle services for the Red Cross. “This is a dangerous storm affecting millions of people. People should listen to their local officials, check on their neighbors and use caution as they wait for the storm to pass.”

HOW YOU CAN HELP You can help people affected by disasters like winter storms or countless other crises by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Donate by visiting, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

Weekday Attorney-at-Law, Weekend Disaster Warrior

February 3, 2014

Throughout Kenneth Stutts’ life, he was instilled with the importance of giving back to his community by his parents and grandparents, and encouraged to volunteer for anorganization that gave him the most hands on experience–Kenneth chose The American Red Cross. 

Kenneth Stutts, an Attorney, in Rowan County, NC, was working one day in the court house, when he all of a sudden remembered that it was time to schedule another appointment to donate blood to the American Red Cross. Stutts was a regular contributor, donating every few months for the past 4 years. He knew right then that he had to stop and take a minute to schedule an appointment as he normally does on the Red Cross website. When viewing the website, he continued to scan further when something caught his eye – a paragraph about disasters and the DisasterAction Team. He looked down at his watch, and knew it was time to resume preparing for the court case scheduled for the next morning. However, throughout the day, Stutts continued to ponder about the opportunity to volunteer in disaster services.

 A few days passed, and Stutts was still thinking about disaster volunteer opportunities, so he finally decided to call the Red Cross to schedule a time to find out more about what the disaster team actually does, and to see if he would be interested or even a good fit. He had a great conversation with Monica Bruns, disaster program specialist and it was then, June 2012, that he decided to give it a try as a disaster volunteer. “After attending my first disaster, a single family house fire, I knew this was where I needed to volunteer my time,” said Kenneth Stutts. “My call schedule is from 5:00 p.m. Friday to 8:00 a.m. the next Friday morning, every three weeks. I really enjoyed working with the team, and the opportunity this gave me to help people in the community where I was born and raised.”

 Stutts decided to continue to learn more about the disaster role and how he could play a greater role in helping those individuals and families who had been affected by a disaster, and making sure all of their emergency needs are met as soon as possible. His training paid off as he was invited to be a DAT Captain in March 2013. So now, every three weeks, Disaster Captain Stutts has it down to a science as he sets his phone ringer on loud, positions his team members phone numbers right beside the phone, and lays his Red Cross attire on the chair where he can jump up at any time of day or night to respond.

 “When a disaster occurs, I receive a text message from Rowan County Communications Department with the type and location of the disaster. I then call back with a timeframe of when they should expect us on the scene. From there, I quickly call my three team members, get dressed and drive to the Red Cross Chapter Office within 20 minutes,” said Stutts. “We then pack the Disaster Vehicle with the items needed for the specific disaster, and head out to the site.  Upon arrival, we talk with the First Responders to get more specific details. Then we begin helping the people who have just lost everything, or just a few things begin the recovery process of getting their lives back together when they have nowhere to turn, and feel their lives have been destroyed.” Stutts notated that having the opportunity to help people instills a great deal of humility, and makes him feel good to know that he’s fulfilling his community responsibility to help those in need.

 Stutts was born and raised in Rowan County. He graduated from Boston University and Chicago-Kent College of Law. After living and working in Chicago and Melbourne Australia, he returned to Rowan County in 2011 to practice law in his hometown.

 As a Rowan County United Way Agency Partner, we would like to thank the United Way for providing us financial support for disaster response.



Give Blood and Help Save Lives

February 3, 2014

Like a hospital emergency room, the American Red Cross must be prepared to provide blood for patients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year. It’s the blood already on the shelves and readily available that can be lifesaving for people like Chris Salinas.

Chris, a horse trainer, was seriously injured in an accident when a horse pinned him to the pavement. He and his family said they credit the multiple blood transfusions he received with helping him recover.

Type O negative blood is especially needed right now. O negative is the universal blood type and can potentially be transfused to patients with any type. To make an appointment to donate blood and help ensure the shelves are stocked for patients in need, please visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS.

“Holiday Mail for Heroes” Greeting Card Design Contest Celebration Pep Rally

December 5, 2013 .

View the 5th Video on the Website – “Holiday Mail for Heroes”

Congratulations to Alexis Bono, 5th grade student, at Kinard Elementary School in Clover, SC. for being the Grand Prize Winner of the “Holiday Mail for Heroes” greeting card design contest.

Thanks to our partners Carolina Panthers Football Team and the USO North Carolina for helping make this contest a success!

“Holiday Mail for Heroes” is an American Red Cross program.

December 5, 2013

ImageThe reach and humanitarian efforts of the American Red Cross extend beyond the United States. For one Belmont businesswoman, a trip “down under” highlighted needs a half-globe away and focused on a worldwide mission of compassion and charitable assistance.

From Nov. 10-16, Elaine Lyerly, President and CEO of Lyerly Agency in Belmont, attended the International Red Cross Red Crescent (IFRC) meetings in Sydney, Australia. Comprised of 189 nations, the organization’s primary focus is to deliver humanitarian aid to victims of disasters around the globe. The IFRC was founded in Paris, France in 1919 on specific humanitarian principles: Humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity and universality.

The IFRC meets every four years to discuss issues that are pertinent to delivering humanitarian aid to alleviate human suffering, set policy and elect members of its Governing Board. As a result of the election, the American Red Cross was successful in the re-election of Virginia native Edward Heidt to the 20-member IFRC board. As one of three American Red Cross delegates, Lyerly’s role was to support the delegation in building relationships with Red Cross/Red Crescent societies on a worldwide basis to assure that developing countries have the resources in place to prepare for and respond to disasters. This can be for anything from earthquakes, hurricanes and fires to refugees and disease, such as tuberculosis and HIV/Aids. 

Lyerly also met with Her Excellency Fatima Gailani, President of the Afghanistan Red Crescent, and discussed an organization program that provides shelter for mothers and children living on the streets. They help women find shelter and teach each a trade so that they can sustain themselves and help provide for their families. Another significant issue in Afghanistan is the number of babies born with a small hole in their hearts. This genetically-caused heart defect has been diagnosed in 5,000 infants. The Afghanistan Red Crescent raises funds to provide surgeries for these young children to correct this life-threatening situation.

There is much good work being done by IFRC around the world. “It is very gratifying to me personally to be a part of an organization that touches lives, brings hope and shines a light in peoples’ darkest hours,” said Lyerly.



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