American Red Cross Silicon Valley Chapter Spins Off Operation: Care and Comfort as New Independent Non-Profit

Nov 15, 2010: San Jose, CA — American Red Cross Silicon Valley Chapter announced today that Operation: Care and Comfort (OCC), the all volunteer military assistance program supported under the American Red Cross auspices since 2003, will become its own independent non-profit organization effective January 2011 due to its successful operation and extensive reach.

"Operation: Care and Comfort best embodies the ideals of the American Red Cross in providing humanitarian support worldwide,” stated Barb Larkin, CEO of American Red Cross Silicon Valley Chapter. “We are very proud to have been able to help support OCC in its infancy and watch it grow to such an incredibly effective organization providing much needed support to our military members overseas and at home."

As outlined in its Congressional Charter, the American Red Cross Silicon Valley Chapter will continue to provide support for military personnel and their stateside families whether it is through linking members of the armed forces with their families, delivering emergency messages, or access to financial assistance partnerships.

"Providing support to deployed U.S. military members and their families at home has meant that we have the need to grow our national fund raising and volunteer outreach.” stated Julie DeMaria, co-founder and President of OCC. “We are so grateful for the support we have received through the American Red Cross Silicon Valley Chapter, but it is now time for us to become our own non-profit so our military programs can support troops, veterans and their families across our country. We hope to continue to team with the American Red Cross on initiatives going forward."

Since April 2003, OCC has shipped almost 700,000 lbs of packages to units in Iraq, Afghanistan and other conflict regions. Run entirely by its co-founders and a network of volunteers, the self-funded OCC has grown to such an extent over the years that it now supports upwards of 200 overseas units with monthly shipments of care and comfort items requiring its own organization and national fund raising programs. The group has received national recognitions including a personal thank you at the White House in February 2007 by President George W. Bush.

In addition to monthly packages, OCC also spearheads several programs in the San Francisco Bay Area to support service members, veterans and their families. OCC’s “Adopt a Military Family” provides support annually to 500 local military families, and tens of thousands of sports and event tickets are distributed to local troops, veterans, and their families annually, through OCC’s "Tickets for the Troops."

About American Red Cross Silicon Valley Chapter The American Red Cross Silicon Valley Chapter is a non-profit, humanitarian organization that depends on the generous contributions of time and money from Santa Clara County residents and companies to provide services and programs that help our community prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. For more information on disaster preparedness, health and safety classes, volunteer opportunities, and financial contributions, visit our web site at or call us at 1-877-727-6771.

About Operation: Care and Comfort: A non-profit organization whose mission since 2003 is to provide support and comfort to units of deployed U.S. Military service members, and to military personnel and their families stateside. OCC is listed on the Department of Defense "America Supports You" web site and has received numerous national and local awards, including the DoD's Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher Distinguished Citizen Humanitarian Award, and the National American Red Cross' Service to Armed Forces Award. For more information on how you can support this worthy organization and how you can help support our Troops, please visit

Press Contact:

Red Cross
Cynthia Shaw
(408) 666-6857

Operation: Care & Comfort
Julie DeMaria
(408) 373-8635