Dear Red Cross Volunteers,
Today is International Volunteer Day. This holiday is strategically nestled in the midst of the holiday season, probably for that very reason.
I cannot go past Thanksgiving without giving thanks for the sacrifice that is made by some heroic volunteer almost every single second of the day somewhere in the world. The graciousness, kindness, tenderness and love given freely to unknown beneficiaries at their most vulnerable hour, is not noticed by the public. These volunteers do not ask for pay. The call for help is almost always at inconvenient times. Sometimes there is a lack of gratitude shown for the aid given, but these volunteers love and support the client anyway. They are my strength and inspiration! I cannot say enough how incredibly A-W-E-S-O-M-E they are as they work their magic behind the scenes to create a refuge for our clients to grieve, regroup and recover from their losses.
I also marvel at those who give of their time and brave being poked by a rather large needle to give lifesaving blood to someone they will never even know. I am comforted by their effort to save lives!
I am inspired by those who support our military families to let them know we will be there for them in times of crisis and even death. When something does happen, these volunteers give tender loving care to the family that has given up so much for the service of our country. They are truly patriotic souls and make me as proud to be a part of this great country as seeing our flag waving in the breeze or a soldier in uniform!
I am amazed by those who work tirelessly to make sure the preparedness message gets out. No one will ever know the countless lives they are responsible for saving! From CPR, First Aid, HIV Prevention, Disaster Preparedness and more, millions are impacted by their message and owe their family’s safety to their ongoing efforts.
I am sorrowed that the Red Cross Emblems no longer protect the efforts of those who provide humanitarian aid in times of war and disaster worldwide. The heroic volunteers who risk their lives to give aid in these situations must be so totally immersed in the Red Cross Mission; they probably glow when they walk down the street.
I would be remiss not to mention the financial donor who makes all these great heroic acts possible, for without their generosity, the rest could never happen! It truly takes the whole community to accomplish what happens every single second around the clock, around the globe in the name of humanity.
These people are YOU, the same people I work with every day. YOU come from all walks of life, all faiths, all creeds, etc. YOU are the living embodiment of The Red Cross. I am greatly honored to know and serve with all of YOU! Thank YOU for your devotion to the service of others. YOU are truly amazing!
Happy International Volunteer Day to YOU!
With Much Love,
Cheryl Jackson - American Red Cross
Regional Support Manager