Community Partners Are a Piece of the Pie

By Michele Maki, American Red Cross

“We all have a piece of the pie and each piece is very important. If we know how each piece fits, and we all do our part, the pie is made whole and everyone can be fed.” This assessment was shared by Marti Crane, a volunteer for over ten years with the American Red Cross in Rancho Calaveras. Crane is a woman who cares deeply about her community. She serves with several other non-profit agencies such as the Volunteer Center for Calaveras County. She serves as their Director and says she has learned much. “If we all communicate what our agencies can do for the community and come together in cooperation, the community benefits.”

Marti looked around, and saw that kind of partnership and cooperation were clearly evident in the facilities the Red Cross was temporarily using during the Butte Fire relief and recovery efforts. “The United Methodist Church has been so gracious to offer the Red Cross the use of their church hall for our headquarters and staging area. They have been just wonderful!” Marti praised. “And that’s exactly what I’m talking about-understanding what our mission is, and helping one another. Truly, this is a partnership.”IMG_0781

Marti continues her work, cleaning the kitchen the Red Cross had been using. She stops and adds, “I love the Red Cross for their nimbleness and flexibility too. “When the need calls, they act! You have to be flexible in a disaster, because disasters are so fluid. Everything can change, just like that!” Marti continues, “There is another kind of flexibility too, that I love. I can volunteer just so many hours to this, and still be available to give to other causes that are important to me. That kind of flexibility is important to me too. And…..there is so much kindness here. How can anyone pass that up?”

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