Call to Service: The American Red Cross

Call to Service: The American Red Cross
Contributed by Kris Baydalla-Galasso
 
The odds are good that you or someone you know has been assisted in some way by the American Red Cross.
 
Personally, I’ve been a blood and platelet donor for all of my adult life. While it was my practice to donate several times throughout the year, the need for whole blood donors was driven home when I became a whole blood transfusion recipient in 2011. Since that time, I have been on a mission to ensure everyone in my immediate world knows that giving up just six to ten hours each year will save countless lives.
 
Donating blood is an easy, painless, cost-effective (free!) way to help the American Red Cross help others – but there are so many other ways to help as well!
 
If you are interested in helping an organization that helps our military members, an easy and effective way to do that is to volunteer at your local chapter. There are countless volunteer opportunities at the local level – from assisting with blood drives to volunteering to work one-on-one with individuals in need.
 
The American Red Cross is also always looking for volunteers to take a lead in their communities and help recruit others. Additionally, you can donate your gently used home items and clothing and the American Red Cross can help repurpose those items to benefit those in need. If you have a specific skill that you want to use, the American Red Cross probably wants to know! Check out their Volunteer Page to see which options fit you the best.
 
According to their website, 91 cents out of every dollar that the American Red Cross spends goes to humanitarian efforts and helping those in need. There is no better time than now to help the American Red Cross realize their mission and vision statements (below):
 

Mission Statement

The American Red Cross prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.​

Vision Statement

The American Red Cross, through its strong network of volunteers, donors and partners, is always there in times of need. We aspire to turn compassion into action so that…
…all people affected by disaster across the country and around the world receive care, shelter and hope;
…our communities are ready and prepared for disasters;
…everyone in our country has access to safe, lifesaving blood and blood products;
…all members of our armed services and their families find support and comfort whenever needed; and
…in an emergency, there are always trained individuals nearby, ready to use their Red Cross skills to save lives.