The American Red Cross operates on an annual cycle that runs from July 1st to June 30th. That means for us we are starting our second century of service to the residents of Northeast Tennessee.
As we ended the month of June with our Annual Meeting, we took time to reflect on the milestones reached in our first 100 years and enjoyed stories that have been passed down to us - the intrepid Red Cross worker travelling in a model T from Johnson City to Surgoinsville to provide disaster relief, the instructor training the first lifeguards in swimsuits that brought smiles to our faces, and the Red Cross home nurse travelling the back road to deliver health care painted pictures of our past with their stories.
Looking forward to the next 100 years, we must leave our stories for the future volunteers and staff providing Red Cross services to Northeast Tennessee. Do you have a story? Of course, you do. I hear them every time we gather for a meeting, event, or training. The volunteer listening to the elderly couple whose house burned as they relive their memories of the home they have lived in for 40 years has a story to share. The instructor delivering preparedness information to 4th grade students who are sometimes entertaining, sometimes wise beyond their years, and always amazing.
Maybe you are the volunteer who visits a veteran at the VA and takes a few minutes of your day to say thank you and deliver a smile to one who has earned our unending gratitude. You have a story to make the statistics come alive.
Whatever your role with the Red Cross, there is a story waiting to be told. Help me save these stories for the next centennial celebration. Take a minute and write your story down or send me an email saying you have a story to share. One of us will call you to listen to your story and write it down.
You are the American Red Cross of Northeast Tennessee and your story needs to be told. Please help me build storybook of memories for the folks in 2117 to enjoy!