All Posts Tagged: natural disaster

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Red Cross-the Humanitarian Cause

Volunteering for an organization like the Red Cross is something you should be proud of! Not only are you doing your part to help out, but also because you are lending a hand to people who have faced tragedy and devastation in their lives. Even if you are not able to travel to the area to assist, there are several other ways you can volunteer and make a difference. Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can help from afar.

Donate Blood

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Often, supplies of blood run low in areas where something tragic has occurred. When you donate the people who are injured have a chance to heal and get back on their feet. Many times, surgeries require an enormous amount of blood to be given, and this is where you come in. Local communities and the Red Cross host blood drives a few times a year, so don’t let fear stand in your way-it doesn’t hurt, and only takes a little of your time to add to the much needed blood supply.

Take Classes

The Red Cross offers classes that anyone can take that will teach life-saving techniques for many situations. CPR is something that everyone should know, so if you don’t, sign up now to learn how! Knowing CPR could help save a life. Disaster preparedness classes teach you everything you need to know to keep your family safe if a natural disaster should occur where you live. Floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, and fires are just a few of the things everyone should be ready for, because you never know how or when disaster will strike.

Get Involved in Your Community

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Locate the community chapter of the Red Cross in your town, and offer to teach classes, talk to the public, or simply host a class taught by a professional. You may be an expert in lifesaving techniques and can instruct others in areas of swimming, babysitting, and more. Your knowledge is a valuable asset that can be put to good use, and your community will appreciate it.

Use Social Media

Take advantage of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and Google to spread the word about the Red Cross efforts. Start your own blog or record a video that you can publish on YouTube regarding the Red Cross events across the country. You are going to reach hundreds of thousands of people this way, and you may be surprised at the number of concerned citizens who step up to volunteer their services.

Host a Fundraiser

There are numerous fund raising projects that can help raise money for your local Red Cross chapter. Teens can have a car wash and donate the proceeds, or you can have a “silent auction” to raise money for the cause. Ask your friends and neighbors if they would be willing to donate items that can be auctioned. Businesses are also very willing to donate new items to your event. All you have to do is ask. Bake sales, book sales, and just about anything you can imagine can raise public awareness and money that will be donated back to the Red Cross.

As you can see, there are so many ways you can raise funds to assist this organization in their continuing efforts to help people in need.  The Red Cross depends on the volunteers to make a difference. Incidentally, did you know that the workforce of the Red Cross is 90% volunteers? Join the others who are helping to make a difference in the lives of those who have been hard hit by tragedy. Sometimes just lending a helping hand makes all the difference in the world.

I’m sure every man, woman, and undoubtedly some children have heard of the Red Cross in America, but I wonder if everyone actually knows what that Red Cross symbolizes, or what the organization does?

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Red Cross Emergency Response Teams

Have you ever wanted to do something good for your community but just didn’t know what or where to begin? How about getting the training you need to become a member of the Red Cross emergency response team? Believe me when I say you won’t be the first to do so. Doctors, nurses, technicians, and many more professional people already belong, but many, many more people are needed-not just professionals! Regular, everyday citizens just like you and me. Our services are needed in every community, be it a small town, large city, or something in between.

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Once you become a member of the Red Cross Emergency Response Unit you will learn the seven principles that are fundamental to the Red Cross movement worldwide:

  • Humanity

  • Neutrality

  • Unity

  • Voluntary

  • Independence

  • Impartiality

  • Universality

You will need to contact the Red Cross chapter to find out what you need to do to become a member of this elite team, and what classes and training you are going to need. It won’t be an easy task, but once you are done and go out on that first call it will be the most fulfilling moment of your life. You will be helping to save lives, and what better “job” is there? Yes, this is a volunteer opportunity, and you will have to commit time and effort, but it is such a worthwhile cause.

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You and your fellow team members will come together as one unit to offer assistance and aid to people who have fallen victim to natural disasters, conflict of war, and general total devastation of the area they live in. Remember Hurricane Katrina? It was through the efforts of the Red Cross volunteers that these people received the medical care, food, shelter and clothing they so desperately needed at this terrible time. Without these volunteers, total chaos would have reigned for so much longer than it actually did.

You may find yourself carrying supplies to and fro, transporting the sick, injured, or the elderly, administering first aid, or maybe even emptying bedpans. No job should be beneath you when you volunteer. You may be assigned the task of getting people to shelters, or even setting up temporary ones. Maybe you will find yourself cleaning up debris, clearing away rubble, or helping people try to locate other family members, friends, or even their pets. No matter what task you perform, it is valued beyond belief!

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Volunteering is a Life Sacrifice

Volunteers who are part of the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) must be willing to sacrifice a large part of their lives if they are called to a disaster area. They are never sure when they will be able to go home or speak to their families simply because they are desperately needed at the scene of the tragedy. This is what you are agreeing to once you sign up. If you can’t commit the time and effort to devote to this unit, then offer your services in another area of the Red Cross. They are always looking for volunteers for so many different projects they have going. The point is-do something! Any little thing you do means a lot more than you may think.

People rely on the helping hands of the Red Cross volunteers in times of need, and this organization never disappoints. Always there to help people try to get back on their feet, put their lives back together, offering kindness and understanding as well as medical care, food, shelter and essentials. These people genuinely care, and by volunteering in any aspect, you show that you care, too.

I’m sure every man, woman, and undoubtedly some children have heard of the Red Cross in America, but I wonder if everyone actually knows what that Red Cross symbolizes, or what the organization does?

Read More

Red Cross Reunites Not Just People, but Their Pets as Well

If you are an animal lover, you know just how devastating it is to lose your furry companion to illness or death, but somehow you manage to come to grips with it after time. Imagine how horrible you would feel if your pet, along with you, was a victim of some terrible natural disaster. You have no idea if it is even alive, much less where it may be. To animal lovers everywhere this is too awful to even imagine, but it does happen-time and time again. Pets are wandering loose, injured, sick, and hungry because their home and family are gone. How do you even begin to locate them and bring them home? Is it even possible? Yes, thanks to the efforts of the Red Cross, it is.

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Of course, the Red Cross is a humanitarian group dedicated to saving human lives first and foremost. More and more emphasis has been placed on training people just like you to locate and save the lives of those pets, also. Considering how many people see their pets as ‘family members’ now, it makes perfect sense to offer these classes, known as Pet First Aid courses. For a small fee you can learn what to do to assist these animals in need. No, you won’t see an instructor administering CPR on a live animal, or giving it mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. What they do demonstrate on are large stuffed animals while the students follow along by reading the material in books that are provided.

Interesting? Yes, absolutely, and you would be amazed at the number of people who attend the classes. Not only will you learn to administer basic first aid to the animals, but you will also receive sound advice on how to approach them, how to tell if they are frightened or dangerous, and when not to attempt rescue without professional assistance. Most of them are just terrified of the situation they are in, but a frightened animal can also be aggressive and must be handled with care. You are going to learn all this, and more if you choose to sign up for a Pet First Aid class. I did, and I am so glad. I have numerous cats and dogs and I have always wondered what I would do in the event of some kind of disaster. Now I know.

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You can find these classes being offered right in your community a few times a year. You can also call the local Red Cross chapter in your town to find out when and where they will be held. Many times a library will host the event, or even the local animal shelter will participate. Sometimes you can find classes at local community events, and often there are speakers present with knowledge of animal behavior who can answer any questions you might have. It’s entertaining, informative, and a necessary part of what you need to know to save your pet. If you have, or love animals, take this class because they need help too!

It’s also good to know that you can perform first aid on your pet even if there has not been a disaster, but perhaps an accident right at home. So many things can happen at any time – an accidental ingestion of something toxic, (pets are not very discerning about what they eat!) a fall, a home fire, and too many other things to mention! The Red Cross Pet First Aid class will prepare you and help you handle the emergency with a cool head and steady hands until you can get to a vet. Take the class! It is definitely worth the small fee.

I’m sure every man, woman, and undoubtedly some children have heard of the Red Cross in America, but I wonder if everyone actually knows what that Red Cross symbolizes, or what the organization does?

Read More