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American Red Cross - More Than Just Services

Red Cross Flag
Join and support your local Red Cross during Red Cross Month

Dino Ingram is a Red Cross volunteer and contributing writer.

From a ‘people’ standpoint, the Red Cross is like a coin.  Both have two sides.  Side one, those who unselfishly give their time and energy to provide help and care to those in need.  Side two, the recipients of those services.   If disasters were the only areas where the Red Cross served, then the word ‘victims’ could replace ‘recipients’ without exception.  But that isn’t the case.  The Red Cross does so much more than provide disaster relief and they help more people than just ‘victims.’

Red Cross month will kick off in full swing March 1 and I’ll be inundating you with a raft of articles.  The goal, to give concentrated attention to many of the key service areas of the Red Cross: Biomedical (Blood Services), Preparedness, Health & Safety Services (PHSS), Local and National Disaster Response, and Service to the Armed Forces.  But, I’m not going to focus on the ‘services’ themselves.  I’m going to focus on the people.  The Red Cross could have the most incredible service offerings on the planet, and the most efficient means of service delivery, but it counts for absolutely nothing, unless you have volunteers who serve and people to serve. Sometimes there is a shortage of the former, but there is never a lack of the latter.

Ok, some of you might be thinking, “Dino isn’t telling us anything we didn’t already know.  Good grief, I wish he’d get to the point!”   In answer to the first, that may be true.  In answer to the second, I’ll get there, really I will.  However I have to allow some curiosity to linger so you’ll want to come back for more.

Like the Red Cross, my goal is also two-sided.  I’m going to bring you some stories of volunteers, designed to inspire.  Further, if I do my job correctly, I’m going to deliver to you, some heartwarming and emotion invoking stories of some recipients’; little, big, young and old, who’ve benefited from Red Cross volunteer efforts.  I don’t want you merely sitting in your living room or office as dispassionate observers.  I want you to feel the hope and help that the Red Cross provides.  Am I setting too high a standard for myself?  Probably yes.  Is the premise silly, and perhaps a little overblown?  Maybe, but I’m doing it anyway.  Am I expecting a lot from you?  I don’t think so.  I believe that at our core, most of us are compassionate and can be ‘touched’ and ‘moved’ from inaction to action.  Sometimes it requires a gentle nudge, other times it requires a wrecking ball.  I’m going for something in between.  Stay tuned.  Also, there are no hard hats required.