(NAPSI)—Each year, armed conflicts and natural disasters wreak havoc on a global scale. Yet even after the immediate crisis passes, the devastation can last much longer—particularly when families are torn apart amidst circumstance and chaos.

In these cases, family members are often left with few resources and no sense of where to begin their quest to find their missing loved ones. Fortunately, there is a worldwide organization that works to reconnect families who have been separated by international crises.

The American Red Cross—part of the world’s largest humanitarian network—offers free and confidential services, striving to reconnect loved ones when:

• Families are separated as a result of international conflict, disaster, migration or other humanitarian emergency.

• Families have already tried normal channels of communication to reconnect.

• The family member making the inquiry is a relative who had been in direct contact with the sought person before the crisis occurred.

Across international boundaries, the organization offers a beacon of hope for families to be reunited. And though the process can take time, Red Cross volunteers do everything in their power—from phone calls and online searches, to in-person interviews and worldwide travel—to fulfill families’ hopes.

“These people have broken hearts,” said Fidele, a Red Cross volunteer from Burundi who was previously reunited with his father after a 20-year search. “We ask questions about what their loved one looks like or where they last lived to help us with our search. These questions bring them back to the time they were forced to separate from their families.”

Little Words, Big Impact

The organization also makes it possible for displaced individuals to reach out to their families—even half a world away. The family messages transmitted by the American Red Cross can be very brief, but the three short words—“I am alive”—may be all that is needed to ease the minds of distraught loved ones.

To begin a search, contact your local Red Cross chapter—the critical link in your community to the global Red Cross Red Crescent network. You can also call the free national helpline at (844) 782-9441.

From Latin America and Africa to Asia and Europe, the American Red Cross helps people in some of the world’s most at-risk communities. This work is powered by the generosity of volunteers and donors. To learn more visit redcross.org/international.

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On the Net:North American Precis Syndicate, Inc.(NAPSI)