“It took three days and three nights to bury the dead on the battlefield …”
“With faces black with the flies that swarmed about their wounds, men gazed around them, wild-eyed and helpless…”
“Would it not be possible, in time of peace and quiet, to form relief societies for the purpose of having care given to the wounded in wartime by zealous, devoted and thoroughly qualified volunteers?”
— Henry Dunant, Un Souvenir de Solferino [A Memory Of Solferino]
Have you heard of Henry Dunant?
If not, read this short article. Or this one. In short, after stumbling upon one of the worst battles of 19th century Europe and tending the wounded for days, Henry wrote a book, Un Souvenir de Solferino, which contained a plan to form what would become the International Red Cross.
I can only imagine the courage it would take to happen across a battlefield prior to modern medicine and start tending the wounded and burying the dead. I can then only dream of having the courage to start an organization to provide emergency services to anyone regardless of nationality, race, religion or politics?
It humbles me to think about what this man did and puts my simple year-long project in it’s place.
To have that kind of courage is unimaginable.
Attended a Red Cross orientation for new volunteers. We’ll see where it leads.
I have often considered being a Red Cross volunteer — I think they are an indispensable organization working so hard for the care of people in emergency situations. Where we live, caring for victims of home fires is a big part of the Red Cross — almost daily the Red Cross is there with a blanket, food and words of comfort to families who have suffered the loss of their home due to fire. Maybe I should volunteer….. 🙂
During our orientation yesterday, that was one of the many ways to volunteer which was brought up. It was also one of the more discussed, because many of us didn’t realize that the Red Cross worked so closely with the local emergency responders.
If you’re interested, the way to get started (at least in Oregon) is to
fill out the online volunteer application
talk to a Red Cross Rep
Watch some orientation videos on your own time & read a doc.
Sign up for an orientation session (about an hour)
Figure out how you’d like to help
Pretty straight forward. Thanks for considering it. You’d be joining a wonderful group of people!
Thank you for this post and making me realize there are great people out there. Ironically, on December 26th, 2010 I was in a fire that consumed my home. The Red Cross of course came to help and the gifts that I received from the town and community left me speechless at times. Yes, I did lose all my Christmas presents, but I was rewarded with gifts from humanity. From people and places that I would never expect.
“His vision was to help those in need regardless of their country of origin, their race, religion, social status, color of skin, or philosophical leanings. Henri showed the world how to move beyond our differences and embrace each other as a human family.”- From the article
There needs to be more true people like this in the world that open up their hearts.
You are most welcome. I’m sorry for your loss last Christmas, but I am happy that you are safe. That is what’s most important.
You’re right. When we open our hearts, talk about giving, and act on our generous nature, the better our world is.
Thank you for sharing your story!