Many of my friends have used Facebook to publicly share who and what they’re thankful for this Thanksgiving season. I realized, as I read through my friends’ status updates, that I could fill a month’s worth of my own status updates with thank you notes about the Red Cross.
I won’t list all 24 (my complete list begins on November 1st and continues through Thanksgiving on November 24th) here, but I will share my top seven in hopes they get the ball rolling on all of us sharing what we’re thankful for this holiday season.
– For my mom, who encouraged me to take my very first Red Cross Health & Safety course (Babysitter’s Training) when I was 11 years old.
– For my very first Red Cross supervisor, who looked past my youth and inexperience, recognized my passion for the Red Cross mission, and opened the Red Cross employment door for me.
– For the supervisors and co-workers who followed, who taught me the ins and outs of – as well as how to survive and thrive in – this complex and extensive organization. Oh, and they also taught me all of the Red Cross acronyms.
– For an inspirational elementary school teacher and her enthusiastic and creative third, fourth, and fifth grade students, who taught me as an adult that you don’t have to be old enough to donate blood to save hundreds of lives a year.
– For the generous individuals whose seemingly routine (to them) blood donations saved the life of a wonderful friend of mine.
– For my CPR training, without which I may not have known how to clear my nine-month-old son’s airway when he choked on a Cheerio.
– For ALL of the volunteers with whom I’ve worked and without whom the Red Cross could not exist. There are few greater gifts than one’s time, and Red Cross volunteers give that gift more graciously and generously than any other group of people I have ever have the privilege of knowing.
W.J. Cameron said, “Thanksgiving, after all, is a word of action.”
How will you actively give thanks this week? Will you put your Red Cross training into action by teaching a CPR class or responding to a house fire? Will you donate blood, assemble Comfort Kits, or serve a meal to someone in need?
Or will you share what you’re thankful for – Red Cross-related or otherwise – in the Comments section below or on the American Red Cross Facebook page? Take this easy first step toward actively giving thanks, and then see where it leads.