The Spirit of People in Wisconsin

Written By: Sara Bruesewitz, American Red Cross Public Affairs 

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photo storm

“It’s unbelievable how responsive and dedicated the American Red Cross is…it’s great!” are the first words that came from Char Martinson after I told her I was a Red Cross worker. Char’s daughter and son-in-law’s home and yard were severely damaged after 5 tornadoes ripped through New London and surrounding Northern Wisconsin communities on the night of August 6, 2013. Red Cross teams came around with food, water and ice in the days following the storms. Volunteers have been working around the clock since the storms hit providing immediate needs like food and water but also health services and emotional support.

Not 10 years prior, Char and her husband experienced a tornado in their hometown of Ladysmith, WI. “Yep, you bet Red Cross was there for us then too!”, Char said with a big smile on her face. Char and her husband traveled to New London, WI on Wednesday to bring a generator to their daughters house and help with clean up efforts. “If you can’t help your family, who can you help?”, she ended her story with.

The spirit in Northeast, Wisconsin is bright. Neighbors helping neighbors is an overall theme; everyone coming together to move forward following an unexpected disaster.

Volunteer Position: Northeast Wisconsin Military Family Caseworker

The American Red Cross of Northeast Wisconsin is looking for 3-4 volunteers to assist with casework for our Service to Armed Forces program. Below is the description of the role. We are looking for a time commitment of 5-10 hours a week. All training provided. If you are interested or have additional questions please contact John Kost, Regional Manager, Service to Armed Forces at (920) 733-4481  or

Service to Armed Forces Office Location: American Red Cross,1302 E. Wisconsin Avenue, Appleton WI, 54911

Purpose: Provide casework services to military members and their families.

Key Duties: 

  • Support American Red Cross Mission.
  • Supports SAF policies, procedures, and protocols related to Military Family Case Management.
  • Works with SAF Volunteer Coordinator, SAF Military Family Caseworker Manager, and SAF Regional Manager (as needed) to provide casework follow-up on SAF cases in the chapter’s jurisdictional area in accordance with ARC standards and guidelines.  Tasks include accessing the web based SAF Case Management System (Self-Service), making follow up calls, and logging case notes on a regular basis.
  • Successfully completes required Introduction to SAF Casework and Introduction to SAF Self-Service (Case Management System) online training and locally developed casework orientation.  (6-hours).
  • Acquires a working knowledge of Local, State, and Federal Veteran resources.
  • Attends scheduled SAF meetings.
  • Maintains strict confidentiality of any case notes, names, and other personal information in accordance with Red Cross policies.
  • Positively represents Red Cross to the military, their families, and the veteran community.


  • Regional SAF Manager SAF Military Family Caseworker Manager SAF Volunteer Coordinator SAF Military Family Caseworker


  • Good listening and interviewing skills.
  • Must handle confidential information and maintain confidentiality.
  • Must have basic computer skills (MS Office), a home computer with internet connection, and telephone.
  • Must be willing to complete required documentation using web based SAF Case Management System (SAF Self-Service).
  • Must be willing to volunteer one week in a month (5 – 10 hours/week) and flexibility to continue working with a military family until situation is resolved.   
  • Willing to travel to Appleton Red Cross office for meetings as needed.
  • Effective oral and written communication skills.
  • Experience in social work or related field is helpful.
  • Awareness of and appreciation for military culture and military families.
  • Knowledge of community resources a plus.
  • Ability to stand or sit for up to 3 hours.


  • New Employee and Volunteer Orientation w/Back Ground Check
  • Introduction to SAF Casework (online)
  • Introduction to SAF Self-Service (online)
  • Locally developed orientation to casework procedures and resources.


  • Dress appropriately for working with the public and in a manner that reflects positively on the Red Cross. 
  • Must wear Red Cross identification at all times when working for Red Cross in the public.

 Appointed by: Regional SAF Manager, SAF Volunteer Coordinator

Reports to or Partners with: SAF Family Military Caseworker Manager, SAF Volunteer Coordinator

Length of Appointment: Minimum of 1-year. 

Time Commitment: 5 – 10 hours a week.

Development Opportunities: National SAF Caseworker Training: Principles of Service to the Armed Forces (SAF) Casework Class, Military Family Caseworker Manager, Get to Know Us Presenter, SAF Volunteer Coordinator, participation in military and Veterans support events