Growing up in America, what I knew of the Red Cross was that they were some mysterious group of people who traveled to emergency sites to help people. I always pictured them as modern-day Clara Bartons wearing nurse’s uniforms. It wasn’t until I was researching typhoons for my book, Hong Kong Treasure, that I truly understood all the ways the Red Cross help people.
Since March is Red Cross Month and I’ve pledged to donate a portion of each Hong Kong Treasure book sale to the American Red Cross, I thought I would take a moment to shine some light, and well deserved praise, into that mystery surrounding ‘the people who help people.’
In 1881, Clara Barton founded the American branch of the Red Cross. To read more on Clara Barton, check out my previous post, Red Cross to the Rescue.
Every day the American Red Cross is working to ‘help people’ with little or no glory.
Just looking up for March 6th, here are some of the news reports:
- The Red Cross assisted in Schenectady, New York, after a morning fire ripped through an apartment building. They opened an emergency shelter in a nearby church, supplied food, clothing and personal items and replaced medications to the displaced families.
- The Red Cross assisted after a house fire in Augusta, Wisconsin.
- The Red Cross assisted after a fire in a duplex in Manchester, Connecticut.
- The Red Cross assisted with the failed sewer system in Livingston County, Michigan.
Then on March 7th:
- The Ohio Red Cross team was sent to West Virginia where melting snow caused low-lying areas to flood and contaminate the water wells.
- The Cincinnati Red Cross is preparing to go to West Virginia, also.
- The Red Cross helped residents after a 3-alarm apartment fire in Houston, Texas.
- The Red Cross helped after a house fire in Green Pond, South Carolina.
- The Red Cross responded to a fatality fire in Little Rock, Arkansas. This was reportedly the third fatal fire in the past week. The Red Cross went door-to-door in high-risk neighborhoods with fire safety education, installing smoke detectors and battery replacement where needed. They also funded the emergency replacement of food, provided shelter in hotels, clothing and lifesaving medications, then assisted with funeral expenses.
The Red Cross has also provided care and help during this 2014-2015 brutal winter weather, Tennessee and New York being the hardest hit states.
The American Red Cross has also helped internationally in Haiti (5 years after a devastating earthquake, they are building safer housing in Port-au-Prince) and in the Philippines (Typhoon Rammasun which hit July, 2014).
If you are like me, you never realized just how important the Red Cross is and how much they need our support. Please consider donating blood, volunteering your time or attending a fundraising event in your area.
A portion of every book sale will be donated to the American Red Cross.
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