The last few weeks have been chock full of activity for the Atlanta Red Cross, so much so that it is only now that we’ve had time to take a breath and to give a full accounting of what happened. For starters, on February 24, Atlanta was graced with a visit by Red Cross President and CEO Gail McGovern who met with supporters and thanked Georgians for their contributions to Red Cross Haiti relief. Ms. McGovern’s visit was especially meaningful as it took place on the heels of her recent trip to Haiti where, in her words, she “witnessed a dire situation with terrible damage and people in the streets looking for food.” With infectious optimism, Ms. McGovern went on to assert that she saw great “resilience in the Haitian people” and that the Red Cross was committed more than ever to helping them through the crisis.”
On March 10, a combined 30 volunteers and staff from Red Cross chapters around the state of Georgia and the Red Cross Blood Services Southern Region (Douglasville, GA), convened at the Georgia State Capitol to meet with state legislators, discuss emergency management and preparedness in Georgia and celebrate Red Cross Day at the Georgia Capitol. Red Cross volunteers and staff members also witnessed Governor Sonny Perdue’s presentation of a Georgia Red Cross Month proclamation on the North Wing Capitol steps. Later, Red Cross volunteers and staff were recognized in both the House and Senate Chambers.
Since 1943, March has been celebrated as American Red Cross Month, a time to recognize the organization as a true reflection of the humanitarian and volunteer spirit. That year, President Franklin D. Roosevelt called on Americans to “rededicate themselves to the splendid aims and activities of the Red Cross,” and every president since has recognized the work of the organization and the millions of volunteers who help make our mission possible.
Below, Dr. Earl Gassery, an Atlanta Red Cross volunteer and Georgia Red Cross Day attendee, gives a moving account of how the Red Cross has impacted his life and how it can impact the lives of others.