Uncover your inner hero

Celebrate Red Cross Month

T-R PHOTO BY ADAM SODDERS - Red Cross emergency response vehicles continue to comb the post-storm streets of Marshalltown. Last week, teams inside the ERVs handed residents water, hot food and other supplies.

If you weren’t aware of the Red Cross before Marshalltown’s tornado last July, you quickly saw the heroism the organization exemplifies in the aftermath of the storm. More than 400 of the organization’s volunteers came to town and vowed to stay as long as they were needed. And that they did, taking shelter on cots at Marshalltown Community College. The Red Cross provided shelter and passed out water and food to tornado victims and those helping clean up, among many other forms of relief.

“I can’t say enough about the American Red Cross, your humility, your hard work, your drive and your passion for the work you do … the truth of the matter is we’re blessed to have all of you on our campus,” Iowa Valley Community College District Chancellor Chris Duree said at the time.

In 10 days after the tornado, the Red Cross had served 21,000 meals and 47,000 snacks, while also distributing 53,000 bulk items. Extraordinary heroism.

March is Red Cross Month and the national organization is asking everyone to “uncover your inner hero.” It’s what the organization has stood for since its founding in 1881 as a charitable organization.

As the saying goes, not all heroes wear capes. There are a variety of ways to be a hero and help the Red Cross. You can donate blood, time or money all to help the cause. You can also take a class in first aid or CPR to be prepared to respond in crisis situations.

Above all, Red Cross Month reminds us that humanitarian efforts start with volunteers who want to make a difference. Go be a hero.