Hi kids – just popping in for a moment. Our friend over at Mother Mari’s is working with the Red Cross and asked me to put up a quick blurb on my own experiences with the RC.
While Devoted Spouse and I were stationed in Belgium, I volunteered as a Case Worker for the American Red Cross. I can tell you that it was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I functioned as a liaison between the families in the states and their military loved one overseas and frequently spent my time trying to hunt someone down who was out in the field on some type of maneuver to let him know of a dying family member. On the other hand, there were many families in the states who had not heard from their soldier or airman in awhile and wanted to get what the Red Cross called a “health and welfare” report. I was the one ferrying the official messages back and forth between the military and the civilians back home.
It was frustrating; it was difficult; it was nerve-wracking and it was tremendously rewarding. There were days I would go home, put my head on my arms on the dining room table and just sob my heart out. And then there was the day I was in my office and a young, barely old enough to shave young airman walked in looking for “the lady who let me know about my Mama”. I looked up and said, “That was probably me; how can I help you?” He came over to me, wrapped his arms around me and gave me the biggest hug. He said, “Because you spent so much time trying to track me down, I was able to get home and say goodbye to Mama before she died.” It was quite a life moment for me.
So — the Red Cross makes a difference in more ways than I can possibly explain to you. And, right now they need you to help with the devastation in Haiti. Mari posted this on FaceBook not long ago:
Donations to the American Red Cross International Relief Fund can be made by calling #1-800-REDCROSS or #1-800-257-7575 (Spanish) or online at http://www.redcross.org. You can also donate $10 by texting “HAITI” to 90999.
I would second her thoughts on calling that 800 number and donating. If you have a special talent, then call your local chapter and discuss how you can help; otherwise, these folks need money and they need it badly. Send a dollar, send five dollars, send whatever you can spare, but PLEASE donate something and make a difference.
Keep up the good work, Mari.
Later, kids. 🙂