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March declared American Red Cross month

LIHU‘E — Mayor Derek Kawakami joined the rest of the nation in proclaiming March as American Red Cross Month.

The ARC was established in Hawai‘i in 1917, and has diligently served the community since, the proclamation states.

“Our volunteers on Kaua‘i are dedicated to the mission of humanitarian relief during a disaster, and we look forward to continuing to serve the community,” the proclamation reads.

“On Kaua‘i, the contributions of the local ARC volunteers give hope to the most-vulnerable in their darkest hours — whether it’s providing emergency shelter, food and comfort for families devastated by local disasters like home fires, landslides and flooding. Their work to prevent and alleviate human suffering is vital to strengthening our community resilience,” Kawakami’s proclamation reads.

Padraic Gallagher, director of Disaster Services for the Kaua‘i County American Red Cross of Hawai‘i, said this month serves as a public-awareness campaign for the work done by the Kaua‘i volunteers.

The proclamation was an opportunity for the mayor to recognize Kaua‘i’s outstanding volunteers like Lisa Morales, the Kaua‘i Volunteer of the Year for 2022, who was joined by Steve Soltysik and Mychal Brosamer, who helped deliver meals to COVID-19 patients who were isolated or quarantined, he said.

“Lisa went to Louisiana to help out with Hurricane Ida, her first deployment and assignment with Red Cross,” Gallagher said. “She arrived at a shelter south of New Orleans, and the second she got there was made a supervisor without any prior experience. She said it was a very trying time and a lot of stress, but when it was over, and on the plane back home, she thought, ‘I would do that all over again.’”

Gallagher also noted that the mayor wanted to thank all of the volunteers, especially in trying times.

“He always knew that the Red Cross was there, ready to help out whenever needed, like Steve or Mychal who, throughout the pandemic, helped deliver meals to COVID-19 patients that were isolated or quarantined,” Gallagher said. “The most-valuable resource on the planet is time — you never get it back, and these volunteers give it away to help out those in need. That is what we try to celebrate this month.”

Clara Barton founded the ARC in 1883, turning her steadfast dedication for helping others into a bold mission of preventing and alleviating people’s suffering.

American Red Cross Month, more than 140 years later, honors the kindness and generosity of ARC volunteers who continue to carry out Barton’s lifesaving legacy.

“We dedicate the month of March to all those who continue to advance the noble legacy of ARC founder Clara Barton, who lived by her words, ‘You must never think of anything except the need, and how to meet it,’” Kawakami said in the announcement.
Source: The Garden Island

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