My favorite part about coming into work every morning is knowing what wonderful people will be there to greet me when I step into the office. (Or what wonderful people I will pick up on my way; we kind of have a car-pooling system going on.) This next great story coming from the AmeriCorps office talks about the high caliber of the people here at the Red Cross.
“I was sitting in the smokehouse [an interactive trailer that teaches kids about fire safety] when a child outside the window began to cry. I saw his mother pick him up and try to soothe him, and then she put her hand to his head and said, ‘He’s bleeding.’ He had run into a fire hydrant while running away from his mother, and as she turned with him in her arms, I saw blood rushing down the side of his face.
Then Ben was there—taking the little boy from his mother and cradling him on the ground, trying to find the cut. Kirsten ran to the van, looking for a first aid kit as I looked through the smokehouse for a first aid kit. Neither first aid kit was there. The best thing we could find were paper towels from the smokehouse kitchen.
It was only a matter of a few minutes before there was a makeshift bandage on the little boy’s head and his mother had him on his way to the emergency room for stitches, but in those few minutes I found something worth sharing.
I work with AMAZING individuals. Truly, truly AMAZING people. Ben was so calm as the little boy in his arms bled. He talked to the boy, gentle and in control, without even a modicum of panic or uncertainty. Even though the little boy’s wound wasn’t overly serious, there were a bunch of kids standing around watching as he bled (from a head wound, no less, which tend to bleed on the profuse side of things); but the opportunity for someone to panic was negated by Ben’s unstirrable calm. I admire him for that.
Kirsten took the initiative to run to the van to look for a first aid kit. And when she came back, she gathered a group of kids sitting around watching this little boy bleed and took them through the smokehouse, removing them from the situation. She was able to quickly identify what needed to be done and then do it. I admire her for that.
When the little boy was first hurt, Becca was in the smokehouse with a group of kids. Instead of rushing out to see what the problem was and leaving the other kids to themselves, Becca finished her tour. She talked to the kids without rushing or concern. She had faith in her peers and diligence for the task at hand. I admire her for that.
My great story is simply this: Yesterday, I found more reasons to respect and admire people that I already respect and admire. Yesterday, I was reminded that I have the privilege to work with wonderful, dedicated, caring, amazing, and admirable people who remind me to work hard, have heart, and be humble.”
(First lesson here: always, ALWAYS make sure your first aid kit is present. What’s in a first aid kit? Check it out here.)
The core of the American Red Cross is the dedication and compassion of its volunteers; the American Red Cross is about ordinary people performing extraordinary acts of service as if these acts, too, were ordinary.
Do you have a great Red Cross story? Do you have a great need to tell this story to others? W’re just starting up our Speakers Bureau, a new group dedicated to sharing the extraordinary work of the American Red Cross with members of our community. This is a chance for you to share the stories of the dedicated, amazing volunteers that surround you, too. Let us know if you’re interested by emailing me, Cassidhe!