A lot of people might recognize Robin and Cole Finegan: He is a prominent attorney who was named one of the most influential people in Denver by 5280 magazine and she served as the Regional Administrator for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) – but most people don’t know that they met on the softball field, have been married for three decades and consider themselves “lucky” in love.
“Some people think of flowers and candy when they think of romance,” Robin said. “I also think that it’s romantic to give a gift that could help take care of my husband when his life depends on it -- whether that’s aid during a disaster or a Red Cross-trained bystander to perform CPR.”
Another #RedCrossMyHeart participant is businessman, motivational speaker and former Denver Bronco Reggie Rivers, who tells how he met his wife, Stephanie (in an Albertsons!) in a #RedCrossMyHeart video. Cliff Holtz is the President of Humanitarian Services for the national American Red Cross network and lives in Denver with his wife, Teri – they took the pledge and outlined their 3-decade long romance, which started when he was 14 and they were best friends. The stories even include a classic, WWII love tale.
The campaign encourages the public to donate to the Red Cross in honor of someone you love – someone you would want the Red Cross to be there for in an emergency. Participants are also encouraged to share their own personal love stories.
“People tend to think of disasters and emergencies happening to someone else, and so they also tend to give reactively when they see large-scale disasters,” said James Knowles, a fundraiser for the Red Cross of Colorado. “This campaign aims to help the public realize that small disasters are happening every day and recognize how important it is to support the Red Cross so that we can be there when you need us most – whether that’s a home fire or a heart attack, a wildfire or a military family emergency.”
Erin and MeLisa Mounsey are one of the couples who will be sharing their love story. Erin can personally attest to the devastation of a small disaster like a home fire: he lost everything and suffered burns over 86 percent of his body in a home fire. After the fire, he received help from the Red Cross, and was so drawn by the mission that he became a volunteer and eventually an employee of the nonprofit. He and MeLisa met while attending the 2005 World Burn Congress in Baltimore, an annual conference for burn survivors, and married in 2010. Today they are a well-known couple in Northern Colorado, as he heads up the Northern Colorado Chapter of the Red Cross.
“Every single disaster is intensely personal. Whether 1,000 people were affected or just one, losing everything is devastating to each person,” Mounsey said. “To put a face on these disasters, we are asking people to think of someone they love, imagine the hope and help the Red Cross might someday provide to that loved one, and make a gift in his or her honor.”
People who would like to participate in the campaign can make donations, share their personal love stories, and more at www.redcross.org/redcrossmyheart.