Celebrating Red Cross Month

By Coralie Chun Matayoshi
Wednesday - March 09, 2011 Share

By Coralie Chun Matayoshi, CEO
American Red Cross, Hawaii Chapter

March is Red Cross Month, a time to thank our supporters and volunteers who make it possible for us to provide services here in Hawaii.

Since 1917, the Red Cross has played a vital role in helping the people of Hawaii recover from every major disaster, including hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunami, major floods, landslides, air crashes, wild fires and hostage situations.

Red Cross volunteers are on call 24/7, 365 days a year, responding to house fires and other disasters that occur in Hawaii every three to four days, providing food, clothing, shelter, crisis counseling and emotional support to help people get back on their feet after a tragedy.

A person who lost everything in a fire explains: “I tell people it’s a miracle, this whole situation changed my life and I accepted more in a positive way because there was help from people like you. I didn’t go homeless ... I went home, and it was a home that through the service of the Red Cross was provided to my family. It’s an amazing thing you do.”

A Red Cross volunteer (right) comforts a mother and her two young children after a fire destroyed their home

We also provide emergency communications to keep deployed military service members in touch with their families during times of crisis. We train people in CPR, first aid, aquatics, nurse aide, baby-sitting and pet first aid. Almost every weekend, our volunteers staff first aid stations at community events, free of charge. We also have offered free summer swim classes for adults and keiki at Ala Moana Beach for 45 years.

Because we work with firefighters, police, military and civil defense, most people think the Red Cross is a government agency. We are not; we rely on the generosity of Hawaii’s people to provide critical services to our community.

Go to hawaiiredcross.org to become a volunteer, donate or bid on awesome items at our online auction running March 1-20!

Hawaii charitable organizations may send requests for space in either Proof Positive or the free advertisement below to dchapman@midweek.com.

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