“As she reached for the pen her hands were like ice. It broke my heart. I removed my gloves and gave them to her. She started to cry and so did I. She said she couldn’t take mine from me and I said look they match your coat so it must be a sign.” Bonnie Brown, a Red Cross volunteer, had just finished helping a family that had no heat because of flooding damage.
This is just one example of what Southern Missouri volunteers experience every day. The time and commitment that they give to our community is invaluable. The American Red Cross sets aside the month of March as Red Cross Month, a time to celebrate our community’s everyday heroes and to ask the public to become one of our newest heroes.
The Red Cross depends on local individuals to deliver help and hope to people in need during an emergency. In fiscal year 2015, the American Red Cross of Southern Missouri responded to 660 local emergencies helping 1,989 people, the Service to the Armed Forces assisted 1,208 case referrals and trained 11,092 people in lifesaving skills. And, people from this area donated 7,860 units of blood. These acts of service truly save lives.
March is the time for people become community heroes by taking two simple steps. First, be ready for the next emergency by creating a preparedness plan for your home. Find help at redcross.org/preparedness. Second, test your smoke alarms, and ask your neighbors to do the same. If you don’t have smoke alarms, contact our chapter at (417) 862-5496 for assistance.
People can also sign up to be a Red Cross volunteer, blood donor or financial contributor by going to redcross.org. Volunteers comprise 90 percent of the Red Cross workforce. The Red Cross is not a government agency; it relies on donations of time, money, and blood to do its work. An average of 91 cents of every dollar the Red Cross spends is invested in humanitarian services and programs
Thank you to all of the Red Cross supporters in Southern Missouri who assist their neighbors during life’s darkest hours. We are deeply grateful.
Public Affairs volunteer for the American Red Cross of Southern Missouri