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Matthew Crane is Red Cross Kaua‘i Volunteer of the Year

LIHU‘E — The Mo‘ikeha Building will be illuminated in red for the week, said American Red Cross Director of Disaster Services Kaua‘i Padric Gallagher, on Monday during a meeting with Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami to accept a mayoral proclamation celebrating March as American Red Cross Month.

“The entire month is American Red Cross Month,” Gallagher said. “But due to the heavy scheduling of the county, they’re lighting the building in red for this week as American Red Cross Week.”

American Red Cross Month celebrates the humanitarian spirt of the County of Kaua‘i, and reaffirms the island’s commitment to help ensure no one faces a crisis alone, Kawakami said.

The meeting brought him back to the days immediately following Hurricane ‘Iniki in 1992 when he and Harry Kim, then-Hawai‘i Island Civil Defense director, visited the Big Save stores to salvage food and distribute it to neighborhoods.

“Every day, these ordinary individuals like American Red Cross Kaua‘i Volunteer of the Year Matthew Crane, lend a helping hand to make an extraordinary difference for neighbors in need — whether it’s providing emergency shelter, food and comfort for families displaced by home fires and other disasters, supporting military members and veterans, along with their families and caregivers, through the unique challenges of service, using vital skills like first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation to help others survive medical emergencies, or delivering international humanitarian aid and reconnecting loved ones separated by crisis around the world,” the proclamation states.

“The community’s support, volunteerism and generous donations are critical to our community’s resilience,” the proclamation continued. “We recognize this month of March in honor of all those who fulfill Clara Barton’s noble words: ‘You must never think of anything except the need and how to meet it,’ and ask everyone to join in this commitment.”

Crane, an American Red Cross volunteer for a little more than two years, was recognized as the American Red Cross Kaua‘i Volunteer of the Year hero for “always being willing to help out wherever he is needed, many times rearranging his schedule to accommodate the needs of the American Red Cross.”

During the time Crane has been a Red Cross volunteer, he was deployed to help with the Afghan refugee settlement in Wisconsin, as well as volunteering to help with emergency shelters around Kaua‘i.

“In addition to helping with emergency shelters, Crane has also helped with logistics, and recently became the only volunteer on Kaua‘i who is qualified to drive Red Cross’s emergency response vehicle,” a proclamation by the mayor’s office read, celebrating Crane’s heroism.

“Last year, during the Red Cross’s ‘Sound the Alarm’ event, Crane put in more hours than any other volunteer, installing smoke alarms in 23 homes. He also stepped up to work with the Department of Health, going door to door to conduct CASPER (Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response) surveys that track a community’s assessment for public health emergencies.”

Crane continues to be an integral part of the volunteer workforce that helps the people of Kaua‘i weather disasters, Gallagher said.

He said the American Red Cross will have a get-together on Friday at a pau hana event to celebrate the Kaua‘i American Red Cross and its role in the American Red Cross.
Source: The Garden Island

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