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Walter Reed Red Cross Manager Asks Donors To Hold Off

By Sgt. 1st Class Doug Sample, USA
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 19, 2003 – In August, the American Red Cross asked the public for donations of phone cards, clothing, small suitcases, and comfort items for service members recuperating at Walter Reed Army Medical Center here.

Now Barbara Green, the ARC station manager, says she has more phone cards, sweat pants, and luggage than she can use.

In fact, thanks to a generous public, so many items were donated that the Red Cross' storage room inside the hospital is filled to the brim, and Green is politely asking the public to hold off until further notice.

"We're not going to be able to give it all away," she said, adding that one Army unit sent an Air Force C-130 "full of stuff."

The initial request came because many troops evacuated to the center arrived with no personnel effects, she said. Now, Green said, her concern now is what to do with all the donated items. She said it's very important that she follows the donors' intent that the items go to the soldiers, so what's now on hand will take care of their needs for the foreseeable future.

"We need to wait awhile, to at least give us a chance to use what we have before we take in any more items," she said. "We'll put the appeal out again when the time comes," she said.

Green said that she appreciates the public's generosity, and that the soldiers are "very thankful" for what the American public is doing. "The soldiers are very well aware of the caring of the American public, and they are very grateful," she said.

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