Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Letter from East Tennessee Executive Director Michelle Hankes, November 2014

As we enter into the season of thanksgiving, I’d like to take a moment to acknowledge the gifts and joys the American Red Cross of East Tennessee has received over the last year.

I am grateful for:
  • The volunteers who deliver our mission to those who have lost their homes. They take the time to advocate for our soldiers and their families during active deployment. They sit and listen to the stories of veterans in the nursing homes. These are the people who raise their hands high when called to serve. They take hours of training, respond to calls in the middle of the night, and are there for people who are having one of the worst days of their lives.
  • The donors to the American Red Cross of East Tennessee who make it possible for us to provide hundreds of nights of shelter, thousands of meals, support for veterans and their families, and health and safety training for local individuals. Without their generosity, we couldn’t provide the safety our clients need.
  • The community partners who stand with us at disaster scenes or in preparedness activities give us the ability to be more than the sum of our parts. Working together, we are able to reach so many more clients and in more meaningful, long-term ways. Our partners come in many forms: churches, businesses, firefighters, United Ways, student and civic groups, and other social services.
  • The Red Cross staff who work long hours because they believe in the mission. I want to thank them for pulling together, willing to stretch their limits and learn new skills, all so that they may support their volunteers better in delivering the mission.
Success does not come easily, but hard work pays off. Can you imagine what the world would be like without the Red Cross? If we dropped our burden of service, how many people would be without shelter, food and care in a time of crisis? What we do matters, even if no one ever says “thank you.”

But for all of the thousands of people you have helped, whatever your role, I will say to you, with deepest appreciation, thank you!

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