2014 was a stressful year in terms of disasters striking the world. Ebola, hurricanes, tsunamis and other disasters struck without remorse and caused victims to be left astray. When all hope is gone, The American Red Cross exists to provide compassion and help to those in need. The organization works with volunteers, donors and their employees to relieve the suffering that occurs around the world.
President and CEO Gail J. McGovern said that the biggest misconception about the organization is that people think The Red Cross only shows up when there’s a big natural disaster. “Every eight minutes The Red Cross is responding to a disaster. And these are disasters that don’t make the evening news,” said McGovern. “93% of those are home fires. Most people don’t realize that we are there day in and day out. We provide food, shelter and comfort. Disasters happen all the time, not just when a big hurricane strikes.”
In 2015, McGovern said that the organization will strive to strengthen their disaster response time. They are training more people to become fully equipped with life saving skills, so that they are not forced to stand as bystanders and witness devastation without recourse. Essentially if more people are capable to handle disaster, then there will ultimately be a quicker response time and less chance for fatalities and other horrendous outcomes.
The American Red Cross also provides 40% of the nation’s blood supply. The organization hopes to continue to save lives by providing blood to others in need. Volunteers, donors and employees work hard to spread the word about blood donation and would like in 2015 to increase the awareness.
“The average person can make a difference and support the mission by going onto redcross.org. You can see ways to make financial donations, buy a gift in someone’s honor, donate the gift of blood or you can donate your time – there are so many ways volunteers help The American Red Cross,” said McGovern.
Without organizations like The American Red Cross, the world would be in further devastation. Instead of criticizing the leaders and response time to disasters, everyone must come together and educate themselves on ways to be proactive and continue The American Red Cross legacy.