I was very excited yesterday to get a visit from Alex Alexis who had just returned from a 30 day deployment on the USNS Comfort in Haiti. Alex is a Triangle Red Cross veteran volunteer, originally from Haiti, who began his Red Cross affiliation with the Haiti Red Cross in the 1970s.
Alex relayed the most heartwarming stories to me, not about the devastation of his home country, but about the joy and humanity that often comes from the worst of situations. As we talked, he and I reflected on how his stories reinforced everything we already know; that it is the things in life that really matter that get us through tragedies: having our family by our side when we are in pain, knowing that those we love are safe and cared for, knowing that we can provide the basic needs in life for our families, and having a community of support around us when we need it most.
We can always break it down to a set of numbers or stories, but what keeps volunteers coming back to serve, disaster after disaster, is also the most rewarding thing about working with the Red Cross. Knowing that we are providing, not just the most basic needs, but also the most important needs. Food, shelter, comfort and hope. That is what the Red Cross is all about.
– posted by Lu Esposito, Director of Marketing