The Red Cross, all over the world, depends on its local volunteers and those volunteers depend on you.
This summer, the Irish Red Cross is calling on the public to support our volunteers in our latest fundraising campaign.
Irish Red Cross volunteers assist the state in emergency response during extreme weather conditions and they have had an extremely busy year. For example, over the course of the Beast from the East and Storm Emma, our volunteers completed 272 call-outs. During Storm Ophelia, Irish Red Cross volunteers assisted in 17 incidents, transferring patients to hospital, and from hospital to nursing homes, while volunteers also brought essential hospital staff to work.
Irish Red Cross volunteers have also been extremely active during a number of serious floods in the past 12 months, particularly the Donegal Floods in August 2017.
The Irish Red Cross drew from its fleet of 144 vehicles (mainly ambulances) when working during these extreme weather events and this is the same fleet the organisation draws from when providing first-aid cover at numerous events around the country, every week. But this fleet is expensive to maintain. Insurance is just one of the costs incurred and ambulances need to be manned by appropriately qualified volunteers, and their training is expensive. After a very busy 12 months our resources are stretched but the needs of the organisation and those we serve have never been as great. That is why, this summer, the Irish Red Cross is fundraising with our volunteers in mind.
However we are not just fundraising for our volunteers at home this summer. The Irish Red Cross is also fundraising for Red Cross volunteers abroad. For example, volunteers in Gaza are under severe pressure due to the protests and recent violence there. They are supporting medical staff in the extremely under-resourced hospitals while they also transport patients to hospital. The risk of getting injured or even losing their lives doesn’t stop them…but the chronic shortages of drugs, equipment and electricity will.
€80 will help volunteers in Gaza stock up on medical supplies to help victims of violent attacks while here at home, €50 will help fill up the fuel tank of an ambulance during the next emergency. €120 will help Irish Red Cross volunteers revive the victim of a heart attack, locally in their town or village.
There are stories from all over Ireland and across the world which demonstrate just how important the work of our volunteers is. The volunteers themselves would say they are just doing what they are trained to do, but to the thousands of people whose lives they have saved, these ordinary men and women are heroes.
But they can’t do it without you.