BENEFITING: American Red Cross
Dear Friends and Family,
As you may or may not know, I have served on the Board of the Minn-Kota Red Cross in Fargo for the past 8 years, and I have had the privilege of serving as the Board Chair for the past year and a half. My term as the Chair will end in June 2014. Before I pass on the gavel, I wanted to reach out one time to those who are closest to me and tell you why I feel the Red Cross deserves our support. This is not a Red Cross-sponsored ‘campaign’, a self-promotion effort, or a required “Board Chair” activity. It’s just something that has been on my mind since I was asked to chair the Board, and something I will only be doing one time.
Most of us live in the Dakotas, so disasters are common to us. Floods, fires, winter storms, and tornadoes are a regular occurrence. When a disaster strikes, the Red Cross is there, both with preparation tools beforehand and with support afterward for those affected. The Red Cross also has a key role in providing blood throughout the country, and we are closely involved in serving the military deployed overseas as well as their families at home. In a nutshell, this is what we do.
The current structure of the Red Cross in our area involves one “Dakotas” region that includes Red Cross offices in ND, SD and northwest MN. After working with staff and volunteers from across the Dakotas, I can tell you that we have some of the best people I have ever seen. They are hard working, capable, and passionate about their mission. I’m proud to consider myself one of them.
The mission statement of the Red Cross is beautifully simple… “The American Red Cross prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.” That’s where you and I can make a difference… by giving or volunteering, we can have a vital role.
As you know, I love numbers, so here are a few:
The Dakota Region of the Red Cross serves 1.7 million people across 160,000 square miles.
Even with such a broad reach, the Dakota Red Cross needs only $1.24 to meet its budget for each person in our territory for a full year.
That means with a gift of $25, you and I can fund the service of the Red Cross to 20 of our neighbors for a whole year, or $50 to support 40 people, and so on. (Let me know if you want to see my Excel spreadsheet on thisJ.)
If you prefer something you can touch and feel, here are some items you can buy for $100 in the Red Cross Christmas catalog. (Link) This is also a great idea for your Christmas shopping needs and something that goes beyond the latest iGadget.
Two military care kits, 20 blankets, or swimming lessons for 10 people
A full day of emergency shelter for two people or hot meals for 10 people during a disaster
CPR and babysitting training for two teenagers
Any number of other things that we all take for granted until we need them.
What can you do? A gift of money or time would be greatly appreciated, and any amount is extremely helpful. Please use the enclosed envelope or the link included here to donate online. To keep up on the latest, follow the Red Cross Dakotas on Twitter or Facebook. And pass the word along – if you or someone you know are looking for an organization worthy of your time or your gifts, be sure the Red Cross is on the list.
Thanks for your time, and if I don’t see you before then, have a Happy Thanksgiving and a Merry Christmas.