To Those Who Need It Most
Jul 30, 2019
Written By Ryan Charles Parker
Of course, many don’t think that a disaster situation will happen to them. That doesn’t happen here. It only happens to other people. Why give in to excessive worry?
Granted, there is no reason to delve into excessive worry. But it must be recognized that a disaster can happen to anyone, at any time. It would be wise for all of us to prepare for it.
For this reason or the next, a lot of us are completely under-prepared for such a situation. Luckily, the Canadian Red Cross can take care of us when we need it most.
The Canadian Red Cross is perhaps best known for their work in disaster relief around the world, in what Emergency Management Coordinator for the Central Region Amanda deBoer says, “the so-called Third World.” The situations in places that are always there but not here.
And yes, the Canadian Red Cross does deal with disaster relief and other difficulties in poverty-stricken nations, but to think that it is all that the Red Cross does is selling it short. The organization does do a lot of great work right here in Alberta.
For example, we have had some disasters right here in our province, to which the Red Cross offered a great deal of help.
“If it’s something larger,” says DeBoer, “like the Alberta wildfires of 2016 or the flooding of 2013, we get involved on a larger scale as well.”
But even that doesn’t exhaust the work that the Red Cross does close to home. Even small-scale disasters are subject to help from the organization. For instance, the Red Cross supports families whose house has been damaged by fire.
“So, if it’s a small, single-family house fire, for example, here in Red Deer,” explains DeBoer. “We would meet the family afterward to make sure they have food and clothing and a place to stay.”
Not all of what they do is disaster relief. They also offer courses for CPR and First Aid, along with promoting general safety around water.
Volunteers and donors are of vital importance to the Red Cross.
“They play the biggest role. We are really run by volunteers,” explains deBoer. “Very few staff. The majority of what we’re able to do, whether it’s making decisions, planning new programs, or actually responding to the disasters, it’s run and managed by volunteers at the Red Cross of Alberta.”
The Red Cross relies heavily on donations. “Our personal disaster assistance program in disaster management is completely funded by donations. We are able to provide accommodation, food and clothing to people impacted by disaster because of the donations that come in from the public.”
In a world full of strife, this organization helps, and is helped by people expecting nothing in return. Maybe we cannot change the nature of the world, but as the Red Cross illustrates, we can help those in trouble. It’s the best we can do.
To volunteer with the Red Cross, visit: redcross.ca/volunteer/who-is-needed
For other information or to otherwise help the Red Cross, visit: www.redcross.ca