Tuesday, December 2, has been designated at “Giving Tuesday”. This is a global campaign driving people to give back in some way, shape, or form during the day and bring some balance to other days on the calendar devoted to shopping and giving thanks. And whether you choose to provide financial support, or get hands-on and volunteer to help, there are countless opportunities around the world and in your own backyard to get involved and give back where it’s needed most!
While Giving Tuesday offers a great chance to raise awareness to the many needs within our communities, it also serves as a reminder that help is needed throughout the year. The only way a difference is made is because someone steps up to give back. But what determines how and why people finally turn good intentions into meaningful action? As we lead up to Giving Tuesday, we’re asking our staff and volunteers why they choose to give back through the Red Cross. Here’s what they’ve had to say:
“Distributing meals to the victims of Hurricane Sandy was an incredible experience. Loved meeting the people each day as we ran our route through Breezy Point. Most rewarding was when a couple to whom we had been serving lunches for three weeks told us that when they retired they wanted to be Red Cross Volunteers just like us!” – Susan and Henry Winters, Red Cross Volunteers
“I give, and keep giving, because behind each emergency or disaster I respond to is a person, a family, a community. When I look in their eyes and tell them we are here to help I mean that with every thing I have in me. Money, time, energy and most of all…..heart.” – Tracy McBroom, Red Cross
“We give because after hurricane Katrina the red cross not only helped us relocate all the way to California, but treated us like family.” – Chelsea Fender, Red Cross Supporter
“As the Dalai Lama teaches, ‘It Is not enough to be compassionate; you must act.’ I give because every time we respond to a disaster there is truly someone in need. A family, a home, a life that will be changed forever.” – Michelle LaPierre Bell, Red Cross
“It is in my nature to reach out to people in need. I joined [the Red Cross] because it fit my vision of helping people that had been affected by disaster of any nature. Since first volunteering in 2010, I have had several occasions to be deployed and help in disaster situations. Those experiences have had a profound impact on me in a very positive way. It has made me a better person and improved my sense of humanity.” – Beryl Mayne, Red Cross Volunteer
“Nothing else feels better than knowing you are able to help people during possibilty the worst event in their lives. Red Cross and our generous donors give me the privilege of doing that and experiencing that personal satisfaction.” – Jan Campbell, Red Cross Volunteer
“I give to the Red Cross because as long as I have a home to go to at night and someone else doesn’t, I am compelled to help them.” – Kris Kirkpatrick, Red Cross
“I give back because it gives me ‘Emotional Income'”! – Robin Brinson-Considine, Red Cross Volunteer
“I know that when I give to the Red Cross, it’s going to directly help someone, just like it did when my brother was stationed in Kuwait and my sister-in-law became seriously ill following a routine surgery. One call to the Red Cross and he was home to care for her and their three children.” – Rebecca Ciszek, Red Cross
“I volunteered in response to Katrina. I was deployed so many times for hurricanes, fires and floods…I felt blessed to be able to share my talent.” – Esther Vasquez, Red Cross Volunteer
“There’s great reward in giving. Red Cross is just one of the many ways we can give back to our community.” – Carol A. Brown, Red Cross Supporter
“I am a servant by nature. I enjoy helping at any and every level. I have helped in a grocery store, as a waitress, at church, and with non-profit organizations. These were mostly local and I always felt a more global calling. I would pass the Red Cross office often on the freeway until one day I stopped and the rest is history. I’ve been here almost two years. I love it, the people, the public and everything about it. I will be here forever, God willing.” – Debbie Brasher, Red Cross Volunteer
“I’ve been there countless times when the fire crews have left, the police have finished their reports, and the news cameras have moved on. Entire families out in the cold who would have absolutely nowhere to turn if not for the heart and compassion of Red Cross volunteers. In that moment of greatest need, the Red Cross is there to help.” – Jordan Scott, Red Cross
“I volunteer with Red Cross because I have seen first-hand what a positive change Red Cross makes in people’s lives. I grew up in Oklahoma and when I was five my hometown was flooded. The water in our house was about two feet deep. My family was rescued and put up in a Red Cross shelter. I have also seen Red Cross on-site to assist with tornadoes.” – Marilyn Tovar, Red Cross Volunteer
“I was in the Loma Prieta earthquake, I was living in Santa Cruz. I know what it’s like to be a victim. The Red Cross was everywhere! They helped the homeless, they made sure there was food and milk or formula, and of course caring for the injured and the people like myself that where terrified! I volunteered for anything they felt I was capable of doing.” – Dianne Orsley Sutton, Red Cross Volunteer
“Years ago, volunteers helped find and rescue my daughter who was lost in the wilderness overnight. It was such a horrible feeling of hopelessness and it meant so much to have people there with a heart to help. The Red Cross is exactly that – comfort to those during those critical times.” – Charlene Maghiar, Red Cross
“Volunteering with Red Cross gives me inner fulfillment lt gives me pride, yet humbles me.” – Yvonne Wilke, Red Cross Volunteer
“Ever since I was a little girl I felt this strong need to help…I didn’t like seeing anybody hurt or crying. I always wanted to fix it or make it better. I became a nurse when I grew up and although I don’t work professionally anymore I still give back. By volunteering for the Red Cross I can utilize my skills and experience to help others as an Instructor or on the First Aid team.” – Laura Bryant, Red Cross Volunteer
“As a member of the community I feel that it is my privilege to be a contributing member to its overall welfare…Why the Red Cross, an easy answer is that it is the organization that gave to me and helped ensure I was ready for unfortunate life events.” – Don Brock, Red Cross Volunteer
The American Red Cross is one of many organizations dedicated to helping our local communities. We provide services ranging from disaster relief, CPR/First Aid training, support of our Armed Forces, and educating communities about preparedness. Weekends, holidays, inclement weather…whenever and wherever Red Cross services are needed, they are delivered by dedicated volunteers and supported by the generosity of those who give. When a family loses their home to a fire in the middle of the night, it’s Red Cross volunteers who answer that call, providing food, blankets, clothing, and securing lodging made possible through donations. When a military member needs to get home because of a family emergency, it’s Red Cross volunteers coordinating the effort with the military and the family. Lifesaving training? Most often delivered by volunteers. Evacuation shelters? Staffed 24/7 by volunteers delivering food, blankets, bedding, hygiene items, at safe and secure facilities provided thanks to the generosity of donors.
This year in our 24-county region alone we are on pace to respond to nearly 800 local emergencies. That’s an average of one response every 11 hours. Since January, we have opened 51 evacuation facilities due to wildfires. We have trained thousands in CPR, first aid, disaster preparedness, and much more. We have provided care packages, emergency communication, and support to countless active duty and retired military members and their families. And when disaster strikes across the country, our highly trained volunteers stand at the ready to deploy at a moment’s notice.
It is important work. Absolutely critical work, meeting these ongoing needs. We can’t do it alone. YOU are the difference that makes a difference! So, whether it’s December 2 or any other day of the year, if you’re looking to give back, consider giving THROUGH the Red Cross. And as they say with #GivingTuesday: it’s not how you give, what you give, or where you give, it’s THAT you give!