The American Red Cross of Central Georgia is returning to its military roots by opening an office at Robins Air Force Base.
The Red Cross was originally founded to assist troops, and it once had a presence at Robins but hasnt for at least a decade, said Tracy Willis-Kight, executive director of the American Red Cross of Central Georgia. That changed Friday with the grand opening of a new office in the Airman and Family Readiness Center.
The office will be staffed entirely by volunteers. Its focus will be to recruit volunteers to work in the 78th Medical Group clinic, particularly in the pharmacy.
The Red Cross also regularly provides assistance to troops overseas who have emergencies back home, such as a death in the family or a family member having a serious medical issue.
Having an office on base will help the Red Cross be able to assist troops better, she said.
This has been so exciting to be back at Robins Air Force Base, Willis-Kight said. It has been many years.
The operation is starting small, with office hours from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. However, Willis-Kight said she hopes to eventually have the office operating full time if she can get enough volunteers.
People who dont have base access can volunteer, and the Red Cross will coordinate the background checks needed for them to get on base, she said.
The return of the organization to the base came about through the efforts of Col. Mitchel Butikofer, the 78th Air Base Wing commander; Col. James Dienst, commander of the 78th Medical Group; and Col. Roger Johnson, commander of the 78th Mission Support Group.
They are the ones who contacted us and said We need you back here, Willis-Kight said.
She said anyone interested in volunteering can call (478) 743-8671.
Museum of Aviation named a STEM finalist
The Museum of Aviation is a finalist for a new award recognizing efforts to promote education in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM.
The museum, which conducts a year-round education program, was nominated in the science agency category, according to a release from the museum.
The awards were created by the Technology Association of Georgia and its Education Collaborative.
We applaud the Museum of Aviation for its extraordinary efforts to bolster awareness about the importance of STEM and for their hard work to increase student participation in science, technology, engineering and math programs, said Michael Robertson, director of the Education Collaborative, said in the release. Georgia will need to fill some 211,000 STEM-related jobs by 2018, so we are pleased to showcase the great schools, programs and organizations that are helping to develop a strong future workforce for our state.
The release stated that the museum was nominated by Warner Robins Mayor Chuck Shaheen.
It tells the story of Robins Air Force Base and the U.S. Air Force to the people from all over the world and provides wonderful education programs for our students and teachers, Shaheen said.
Winners are expected to be announced Sept. 14 in Savannah.
To contact writer Wayne Crenshaw, call 256-9725.