Story by Heream Yang, American Red Cross
Photography by Jeff Strozer, American Red Cross

Although storms and floods cast a dark shadow on many local communities this spring, American Red Cross staff and volunteers did not lose sight of additional opportunities to offer hope and services to a variety of community members. Such was the case during the 20th Annual Day of the Child, hosted by the Red Cross in the Greater Houston area in late May.

day of caring
This youngster and her friends enjoyed the Annual Day of Caring!

According to Teresa Recio, American Red Cross volunteer and long-time organizer of the event, “El Dia de los Ninos/Young Americans is a day set aside to value and uplift all children and youth in the United States. It is such a joy to celebrate this day right here in our city.”

With origins extending to the original Mexican celebration El Dia de los, the Red Cross event welcomed 238 visitors who celebrated their children while they received partner services including medical screening, Medicaid application assistance and information sessions covering everything from the Zika virus to disaster preparedness. Some family members even received haircuts!

In between these “practical” appointments were games, piñatas, raffle prizes, music and dancing. The presence of special visitors like members of the Houston Fire Department and Houston Police Department—the latter of which brought a helicopter for the children to touch and see—made the event a memorable one.

Teresa, who has been with the American Red Cross in various capacities since 1970, describes the Annual Day of the Child as a joint effort that relies on the generosity of various vendors willing to invest in future generations by providing their services free of charge. “The Day of the Child is an opportunity for meeting the needs of the community,” she said. “It’s about a diverse group of people from many cultural backgrounds coming together to celebrate the hope reflected in their children.”

Hope is always a good thing, despite the storms in our lives. Thanks to the Red Cross, its partners and Teresa Recio, this message was made clear to many families in need.