April in central Texas is a beautiful thing. We have some of the best weather of the year, beautiful wildflowers, events and festivals galore. One thing you might not know about April is that it is also National Volunteer Month – the perfect time to say thank you to all those wonderful people who offer their time and talent to the community.
My Red Cross career began as a volunteer and that experience has profoundly changed my life. I have always been a happy and blessed person but when I started to respond to home fires for the Red Cross I found a mission so in alignment with my core values that it now gets me out of bed every day. Even now, more than nine years since my first Red Cross training class, I am touched on a daily basis by the importance of our work.
Today I am paid for my Red Cross work but I am surrounded by volunteers who share the passion and dedication I continue to feel.
Red Cross volunteers come in every color, faith, political persuasion and age. They are urban, rural, small town and suburb dwellers. They are the complete cross section of our community but they share one thing in common; the desire to use their life to help others. They do 95% of all the work performed by the Red Cross and thousands of our neighbors feel the benefits of their dedication each year. Those few of us who get paid are their support staff and we are proud to be of assistance to them.
So sometime during this beautiful month of April I hope you will take the time to stop and smell the flowers, have some fun and thank a Red Cross volunteer.
Marty McKellips, CEO of the American Red Cross of Central Texas