Red Cross Essay

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Paperclips. Usually, they hold paper together, but not in Linda Kimble’s case. Hurricane Katrina left her and many others in Monroe, Louisiana homeless. "I was still in New Orleans when Katrina hit," recants Linda. "I was in a hotel with other evacuees downtown and the wind kept slamming a door." Fortunately, they could find safety at the Red Cross run shelter in Monroe. Paperclips is the introduction to all of this because that's the nickname hurricane survivors gave to the volunteers at the shelter. The Paperclips worked with hurricane survivors to provide daily support and to help survivors orient themselves with their surroundings. Linda draws together the final strands of the connection, "Paperclips hold paper and hold people together. They stuck to us like white on rice. They made sure everything was okay." They must've done more than that, because a year later, Lynda decided to become a volunteer for the Red Cross, after moving to Seattle. Delightful story, yes, but it does raise an often overlooked point. Is the American Red Cross (ARC) adequately prepared for the amount of disaster relief must provide? Worryingly, it may be less so than it would like to appear. The government is almost entirely dependent on the American Red Cross for disaster aid and relief. Since the ARC is not a governmental agency, it cannot rely on government funds and grants. Rather, it must raise its own money through donations. But doing this is skating on thin ice, and even so, donations help nothing unless there are enough volunteers for relief aid to be of any use. In fact, the ARC has already targeted and vocalized the three problems it needs help with in order to be effective as they can be. In order to be adequately prepared for all disasters, the ARC needs donations, needs volunteers, and it needs donated blood. These trouble areas may appear to already be resolved before the ARC is shortcomings are discussed. The American Red Cross is usually seen as a disaster...
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