Tomorrow (August 19th) is World Humanitarian Day. This day has been set aside by the UN to “contribute to increasing public awareness about humanitarian work…..and to commemorate all humanitarians and United Nations and associated personnel who have worked in promotion of the humanitarian cause…” – In other words, this day was set aside to honor people who serve every day to make a difference in the lives of those around them.
Red Cross Volunteers are part of a cadre of millions of Humanitarian Aid Workers across the globe, in thousands of Humanitarian Organizations, coming together for one common purpose…to alleviate human suffering.
So what does it mean to be a Humanitarian? Dictionary.com defines a “Humanitarian” as:
1. having concern for or helping to improve the welfare and happiness of people.
2. of or pertaining to ethical or theological humanitarianism.
3. pertaining to the saving of human lives or to the alleviation of suffering
Each and every Red Cross Volunteer, no matter how big or small their contribution of time, is a Humanitarian at heart. Whether serving with Disaster Services providing comfort and hope to those who have just lost everything, serving with Service to the Armed Forces keeping our soldiers connected to their families back home, serving the community by teaching a lifesaving skill or serving in countless other ways to ensure we can deliver the services that our community so desperately needs….volunteers are there, Serving the community, Giving people comfort, hope, food and shelter….all of the things that add up to ensure all people have their basic Human Dignity.
While many may not realize it, volunteers are saving lives and giving hope to people each and every day, making the world a better place for those around you. They are, by definition, Humanitarians. I can’t thank every volunteer enough for not only the time that they give, but the heart and soul that they put into their every humanitarian action.
Not only are they true Humanitarians, but my heroes. (And yes, all of them STILL Rock My Socks Off!) I’ve long believed that there is nothing more rewarding, more powerful or more profound than giving of yourself to help another. It doesn’t matter what race, religion, gender, ethnicity, educational background or any other factor a person is…Humanitarianism is truly universal. The video below is a tribute to the Humanitarians across the world who serve their fellow humans ever day.
In response to the compassion and dedication that I see our volunteers show each and every day, I always go back to the words of Shakespeare: “No other answer can I make, but thanks, thanks and thanks.”
“…thanks, and thanks.”
Kristofer “Luke” Bolz
Regional Executive Director of Volunteer Services
AmeriCorps Program Director and DSHR Administrator
American Red Cross
Greater Ozarks Chapter
1545 N West Bypass
Springfield, MO 65807
(417) 832-9500 ext. 141 (p)
(866) 206-0256 ext. 141 (p)
(417) 866-3649 (fax)
(877) 866-3649 (toll free fax)
***In recent years, excessive heat has caused more deaths than all other weather events including floods. A heat wave is a prolonged period of excessive heat, often combined with excessive humidity. Generally temperatures are 10 degrees or more above the average high temperature for the region during summer months, last for a long period of time and occur with high humidity as well.
Click on the link http://www.redcross.org/BeRedCrossReady and GETPREPARED!