For 100 years, American Red Cross volunteers from Angels Camp to Yreka have rolled up their sleeves and opened their hearts to prevent, prepare for, and respond to disasters at home and afar. In 2017 the 24-county Gold Country Region celebrates 100 years of service with Centennial-themed volunteer and community hero recognition events, an artifact and photo display at the Sacramento office, and stories honoring the volunteers and donors who have made our region stronger since 1917.
“A lot has changed in the Gold Country Region since 1917,” says Gold Country Region CEO Gary Strong, “but what has not changed is that in times of disaster, the Red Cross is there—ready to provide shelter, meals, and care.”
100 Years of Heroes
Whether knitting for soldiers during WWI, teaching swimming lessons in the 1950s, or sheltering families displaced by devastating floods and wildfires in recent decades, our volunteers have strengthened communities with their time, talents, and compassion.
Early work of local chapters included infant wellness initiatives, tuberculosis prevention, and providing hot meals for school children. Today, in addition to responding to disasters large and small, Gold Country volunteers help families prepare for and prevent disasters through the Home Fire Campaign, and the Pillowcase Project.
Here are just a few of the many disasters Red Cross Gold Country Region volunteers have responded to over the years:
1917 – New chapters around the Gold Country Region unite to support World War I soldiers overseas and at home, raising money and making scarves, hats, and
1940 – Glenn County – Volunteers set up emergency kitchen for Orland and Hamilton City Families who have lost everything in devastating flood.
1950 – Sacramento County -- Volunteers aid in water recues and care of residents in Sacramento neighborhoods flooded by American River.
1975 – Butte County – Red Cross volunteers establish a disaster assistance office in Oroville for emergency relocation after a 5.8 earthquake rocks the town.
1987 – Stanislaus County – Volunteers mobilize to assist evacuees of the Stanislaus Complex fire, still one of the top 20 California fires to date
1993 – Gold Country responds to Loma Prieta earthquake by sending volunteers to aid in relief efforts
2014 – Siskiyou and El Dorado Counties -- Volunteers set up shelters for and provide recovery assistance for victims of Boles Fire in Weed and King Fire near
2015 – Calaveras County – Red Cross mobilizes volunteers and donors to provide relief to Butte Fire victims.
Throughout 2017, we will recognize heroes of today and the past at 100 Years of Heroes events throughout the region. Please see our website for information on how to nominate and attend. http://www.redcross.org/local/california/gold-country/heroes-awards
Our military heroes will be celebrated at “the event of the century,” The Bash, on March 18, 2017, from 6-11 P.M. at McClellan Air Force Base. Proceeds from this unique event benefit the Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces program. Entertainment will be provided by the Peter Petty Orchestra. Honoree Jeanne Reaves will receive the Spirit of Tiffany Award. Visit http://www.redcross.org/news/event/local/gold-country/The-BASH-2017 for more information.
We Belong. 100 Years Strong.
Are you a current or former Red Cross volunteer, or a member of the community who received assistance from the Red Cross? Do you have a memory you would like to share? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and your story may be featured on our blog!
The Region Today
The Red Cross Gold Country Region currently serves over four million residents across a span of 48,327 miles. Last year our 2,381 dedicated volunteers responded to 673 local disasters and provided 922 families with financial assistance and supported 1,076 military service members through SAF.
Although several individual chapters and auxiliary Red Cross groups existed in what is now the Gold Country Region before 1917, it was in this pivotal year that new chapters and current members united in a single mission: supporting World War I soldiers overseas and at home. Our 100-year retrospective will be celebrated as one region.