In celebration of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Clara Barton, the Texas Gulf Coast Region of the American Red Cross has issued a region-wide challenge to “Lead Like Clara.”
Clara Harlowe Barton, born in North Oxford, Massachusetts, on December 25, 1821, was one of the greatest humanitarians in American history. She founded the American Red Cross in 1881 and served as its first president for 23 years. The final disaster Barton served on was the September 1900 hurricane that devastated Galveston. Barton, then 78 years old, joined other Red Cross volunteers who traveled to Galveston from Washington, D.C., to offer aid and relief to those left standing amid the rubble from that devastating storm.
In honor of her lifetime of service, the Texas Gulf Coast Region has embarked on its #LeadLikeClara campaign this December to #LeadLikeClara in our local communities. We encourage you to join us in this campaign.
The campaign includes work by the region’s Red Cross Disaster Services team to make 200 homes safer by providing free smoke alarms and disaster preparedness information; our Service to the Armed Forces team will be providing 200 stockings and 200 holiday cards to veterans; our region will be teaching 200 community members Hands-Only CPR; engaging 200 volunteers to help in their local communities and lastly, providing financial assistance to 200 individuals who experience a home fire this season. In support of this effort, the Texas Gulf Coast Red Cross has a goal of raising $120,000 in the month of December.
“There is no better way to honor the lifetime of service that Clara Barton gave to this nation than by further dedicating ourselves to her humanitarian cause,” said Henry Van de Putte, Chief Executive Officer for the Texas Gulf Coast Red Cross region. “The observance of the 200th anniversary of Barton’s birth provides us a wonderful opportunity to fulfill the Red Cross mission to ‘prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.’”
The public can join in with the #LeadLikeClara campaign in a couple of ways. You can make a financial donation to help those who experience a home fire at bit.ly/LeadLikeClara. If you need a free smoke alarm in your home, you can sign up at redcross.org/TGCR. And lastly, you can sign up to be the light in your local community and volunteer to help those in need by going to redcross.org/volunteer.
“Since its founding 140 years ago, the Red Cross has remained true to Clara Barton’s vision,” Van de Putte said. “It is our challenge to continue our service to our communities, to those in distress, and to the military.”
Story by David Guth