Close to 40 members of the Greater New York Tiffany Circle Society of Women Leaders and their guests gathered at the United Nations Wed., Nov. 13. The group enjoyed cocktails and a guided tour of the UN, and heard an engrossing discussion of the work of the global Red Cross by a panel of distinguished guests.
Greater New York Tiffany Board Chair Jill Coyle introduced the panel members: Cara Ciullo, manager of international resource and development for international services at the American Red Cross; Anne Christensen, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) senior humanitarian affairs delegate; and Suzan Kareere, Greater New York Red Cross Region board member.
Each speaker discussed the role the American Red Cross plays in international humanitarian services, what programs and services are provided, and the importance of the American Red Cross partnership with international organizations.
Cara Ciullo, speaking about Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, cited the alarming statistic that disasters have increased fourfold since the 1970s, with an average of 400 disasters now occurring each year. Unlike Haiyan, she said, many of these are “silent disasters,” garnering no media attention.
“Nonetheless, people suffer, and the Red Cross is there to help. Our role is that we are neutral; if you are hurting, we help you.”
Anne Christensen discussed the role of the IFRC, which coordinates international responses to disasters as well as addresses development issues such as international disease eradication.
"We work with governments to address issues of disaster relief,” she said. “What we can do over the next 10 to 20 years to address urbanization? How can we deal with the fact that there’s going to be more floods and earthquakes? The IFRC works with governments and humanitarian partners to ensure that there will be answers to these questions."
Suzan Kareere, board member of the American Red Cross Greater New York Region, shared a moving story of growing up in war-torn Uganda and seeing the Red Cross step in to protect human life when others were unwilling or unable to do so. She reminded the audience that even when a problem seems enormous and we feel small, our efforts still make an impact. “We must always ask, ‘If not me, then who?’” she said.
“The discussion was a moving reminder of the importance and urgency of the lifesaving work of the Red Cross,” said Mary Young, CEO of the Metro New York North Red Cross. At the event, Young explained how the Greater New York Red Cross is supporting New Yorkers concerned about loved ones who may have been affected by the Typhoon Haiyan, including our area’s large Filipino community. “It was an enlightening evening,” Young concluded.
Learn more about the Global Red Cross Network.
About The Tiffany Circle
The Tiffany Circle Society of Women Leaders is a powerful leadership network of women who want to change lives, save lives and strengthen communities through a focused investment of time, talent and treasure in the American Red Cross. By investing $10,000 annually in their local American Red Cross chapters, these women follow in the footsteps of a long line of women leaders who have helped the Red Cross serve the American public in times of war and peace with disaster assistance, blood collection, safety training and countless other community assistance services.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org/gny or visit us on Twitter at @RedCrossNY.