SOUTH TAMPA – The Red Cross Angels, the Red Cross and the Tampa Bay area received praise from MacDill Air Force Base Commander Col. Scott DeThomas when he spoke recently at a meeting of the Angels group.
He said Tampa is one of the most supportive areas where he has lived with thousands of volunteers in more than 3,000 nonprofits in Tampa.
“This community gives a lot,” he said. “You are always willing to do more.”
Founded about 30 years ago by Beverly Austin and others, the 100-member organization serves as a support group to the Red Cross. It raises funds and offers volunteers for projects and awareness campaigns.
One service that the Red Cross provides is particularly important, DeThomas said. The organization reaches military leaders of deployed troops to notify a military member who has had a death or serious injury in the family at home.
“You have been a bastion of hope when someone needed help,” he said. “It has allowed me to do my job to get try to get someone home then.”
In addition, the Angels and other groups have helped with specific needs at the base.
“This community gives us strength,” he said. “You take care of our families when someone is deployed.”
The meeting, held on St. Patrick’s Day at incoming president Renee Vaughn’s house, also included entertainment by the Scariff-Hardiman Irish Dancers and a Luck of the Irish Brunch. DeThomas’ wife of 20 years, Marta, accompanied him to the gathering.