Another day brings stories of hope and the resilience of human hearts filtering through from Japan. Although a devastating disaster, the cooperation and hard work going into the recovery and response effort are not only motivational, but inspiring. My heart and thoughts go out to those affected by the disaster. It prompted me to consider what tangible financial contribution I could make. If you have not had a chance to donate to the relief fund, please take the time to do it. $10 could mean someone’s life.

The reminder of how tragic and powerful disaster can be cannot be clearer. Preparation is key, and although we can never be fully prepared for a disaster, I feel that the Red Cross and its partnership aid organizations do a great job of facilitating that preparation and the necessary relief that follows.

As a volunteer for the American Red Cross, I have been privileged to have facilitated access to information as it goes out to the global community regarding the disaster. We have had a lot of news about Japan and what is going on and we are working hard across the chapter and the organization to provide information about the safety and health of survivors. From donations to support relief efforts, to ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross) Safe and Well online forums providing information on survivors, the Red Cross is on the front lines providing aid and support to the Japanese.

You can find more information here (taken from the Grand Canyon Chapter American Red Cross twitter):

Here is a snippet of the CNN interview with our American Red Cross CEO Gail McGovern, discussing Japan relief efforts. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8M3tVO0mynw

Here is information to make sure you know that your donations are going to the right place:

As donations increase, so do scammers. Please send aid to the right sources & be in the know.

Article: http://bit.ly/f53nhC // Video: http://bit.ly/e6Sjaz

And here is a link to the safe and well site, allowing survivors and family to contact one another and notify each other that they are safe
People in Japan and the Pacific can register at http://bit.ly/6otroa to inform loved ones they are safe.

If you want to donate a quick way to do so is @ the American Red Cross site, or by Texting “REDCROSS” to 90999 to make a $10 donation to Japan & Pacific tsunami relief. Thank you.http://bit.ly/eZJDoJ

The catastrophic disaster in Japan reminds us that water, a simple thing, is necessary for the survival of those affected by disaster. With loss of utilities and power, access to drinkable water is limited at best. Water challenges remain paramount in the State of Arizona as well. Having enough to serve the State of Arizona has become possible thanks to a recent donation and the work done by our chapter of the American Red Cross and our local community to be able to accept it.

Through our regional partnerships with other chapters across the west coast, we had the opportunity to receive a significant donation of bottled water, if we could arrange a place to store it. Taking on this challenge, I began reaching out to our partners in the community: fire departments, search and rescue, metropolitan area police agencies, motorist’s assistance pools, and our fellow aid organizations in the area. I am pleased that we have found multiple large-scale storage locations and developed stronger relationships allowing for the use and distribution of this strategic resource within the state of Arizona.

Work at the American Red Cross (ARC) has continued to scale up in difficulty and fun. The more responsibility I earn, the deeper my commitment to our community and to serving others. I am thoroughly enjoying every moment I get to spend with my compatriots and friends at the ARC. I have had some great outcomes regarding projects I have been working on for the Grand Canyon Chapter of the American Red Cross. My successes in relation to these projects have reminded me of the unparalleled power of human good will to ‘get things done’ when a need arises.

In addition to the work I have been doing here at chapter, I’ve finished my initial training and registered for the national disaster activation matrix. Although I hope that we have a spring and summer without any flooding or major national disasters, with the amount of crazy weather and melting snow I want to be prepared and on the list of responders should one occur.

If you have not had a recent experience with the Red Cross, or you are not familiar with all that they do in your community, take a moment to check out www.arizonaredcross.org and explore the website. Or PM/call me with any questions. My time spent here has been some of the most rewarding volunteering I’ve done. I recommend anyone with the time and resources to look into it.