Okay, so here's the thing. I firmly believe that we can't live in a bubble. It's my responsibility to give of my time to help others. I am after all, aren't we priviledged enough to have a career where there are not really set hours (of course we work more than 40) and we can shuffle things to fit into our schedules?!!?
Anyway, here's the point. I have been a local volunteer for the American Red Cross (http://www.redcross.org) since 1998. I have done fundraising and public affairs for them since that time. My kids have even volunteered at various times for vaarious things. (Gotta teach them the same give back mentality. Got it from my Momma who volunteers at church and the local hospital!) What you don't know ia the scope and size of ther services the Red Cross Provides.
Ok, so I've heard all the stories about WW2, charging for coffee and doughnuts, and about blood, which is totally separate from the disaster side. All I have to say is the Red Cross I've seen in the past 10+ years is not that. Let me set part of the record straight, Blood Services is a different "company" under the corporate umbrella of the Red Cross. this is simply disaster services I'm talking about now. Check out the rest of the story!
My local chapter (http://www.sgpvarc.org) is one of the largest in the nation. We provide so many services I couldn't tell you about all of them in one blog post. For instance, did you know that in all commercial plane crashes, the Red Cross is responsible for taking care of the families and in many cases providing for the funerals of those lost. This is mandated by Congress, but of course we don't receive any government funds for anything. Many of those planes lost during the Sept. 11th attacks were coming to or from California and we provided many services from counselling to funerals for those left behind.
We cover not only large residential fires such as apartments or large scale fires, but we also respond to single family fires when requested. Those services provided cover everything from finding them a place to stay until they can go back home or helping them get a new place. Many of you already are aware of this.
On Sunday evening, I was called out to a fire that utilized approx. 200 firefighters from LA County, La Verne Fire and Dept. of Forestry. There were sheriffs, and other first responders, the usual people at these "events". There had been three houses threatened, but no one ended up being evacuated, Thank God! There were also media of every scope, television, cable, newspaper and internet sites. My job in these events is to coordinate the media stories and interact them with the people we are serving in a compassionate and tasteful way and to steer the media clear of those not wishing to be on camera. (This can be really a trick in the middle of a shelter situation!) I also give the interviews for the chapter on tv, radio and newspapers.
By now you're probably wondering why we were called out if there were no people who needed shelter or their animals cared for, etc. Well the following picture tells a bit of the story:
We supply canteen services with things such as coffee, water, sugar snacks, gatorade - you know just the things that keep these guys going while putting their lives on the line. If needed, we would also supply meals. Guess you never heard about that, huh?
So here's the kicker - all services are provided free and are made possible ONLY be the donations of the generous American people. How do you think they stay prepared for such emergencies? They have to have the resources in place when something big comes up so they can respond and help when needed.
Anyway, since I've touched on Red Cross a bit, maybe a need to come back and tell you about things such as Armed Forces Emergency Services (which has directly affected my family personally), CPR/First Aid classes, etc. Stay tuned! But let me leave you with one last picture by Roxanne the great:
Serving the 210 Corridor - the cities of Monrovia, Duarte, Azusa, Glendora, San Dimas, La Verne, Claremont, Upland, Pomona, Chino, Chino Hills, Rancho Cucamonga and Fontana - wherever the need arises.
Linda K. Mayer, Realtor, SRES
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