“I actually took so much blood that I went from O positive to O negative.” A veteran and baseball player, Greg Reynolds lost his arm in a motorcycle accident. He received 101 units of blood. With the support of his mother and his own resolve, Greg is back playing the game – this time on a softball team with other amputees. “I like to think when I’m playing, and people see me, it provides a sense hope for them. The only amputations you have are the ones you make, and I don’t make any.”
Following his accident, Greg teamed up with the American Red Cross to pay it forward, hosting his fifth annual blood drive in 2013. To date, he’s helped collect over 600 units of blood and got 135 first time donors to roll up a sleeve.
Greg is greater than his accident.
Angela Perez was four months pregnant when her apartment caught fire the morning of January 17, 2012. The Red Cross was there for her family with shoes, warm clothes, a voucher for the essentials, and help finding a place to stay so the family could be together.
Angela’s family is greater than losing their home.
The Centrella family originally thought “the Red Cross does Katrina, they don’t help single moms.” But when the family’s home flooded in Portland, Oregon, they needed help. One of the approximately 70,000 disasters the Red Cross responds to each year, the Centrella family got hotel vouchers to help get them back on their feet.
“They gave me that break, that leverage to be able to get it together and take care of them. I feel like we’ve come full circle.”
The Centrella family is greater than a flood.
Recovering from a disaster or emergency situation takes external resources and internal stamina. That’s why the Red Cross provides food, shelter and other basic needs, paired with emotional and mental health supports.
While mental health professionals are deployed for disasters, any conversation can help get people on the path to recovery. One Oklahoma resident reported, “We received water/hot meals from the Red Cross daily, but one lady with the Red Cross sat down and talked to my mother and actually treated her as a person, not only a victim. She was able to lift my mother's spirits up if only for that brief moment, and for that I am so thankful.”
You are greater than what you are facing.
There are plenty of other stories out there, recorded and submitted by those who have been helped and collected on YouTube. Through its strong network of volunteers, donors and partners, the Red Cross is always there in times of need.