Time is More Than Money

Some years ago, there was an advertising slogan for Pepto-Bismol, geared to encourage viewers to go out and purchase a bottle of the gooey pink stuff even if they hadn’t just eaten an entire beef burrito or plate of bacon-smothered cheese fries. Just to have it handy. It went something like: “You don’t want to go out and get it when you’ve got it,” the last “it” being severe intestinal trauma. You want it to be there for you, within arm’s reach, when disaster strikes.

Oddly, that same sentiment came to the fore after last week’s fire near Ridgeway. The blaze consumed the entirety of one individual’s home, sadly taking everything he had but his life. For that much, at least, he can be thankful, although it may take some time before he arrives at that conclusion. Meanwhile, in his time of need, the displaced resident was able to rely on the comfort and assistance of the Fairfield County Chapter of the American Red Cross and one of their Disaster Volunteers. Thanks to the Red Cross, the victim was able to find temporary shelter, as well as money for food and clothing. It is a service that cannot be adequately valuated.

Not too long ago, Fairfield County had as many as 20 such volunteers. But now, by having just one Disaster Volunteer out in the field responding to an emergency, the Red Cross is utilizing 25 percent of its volunteer resources in Fairfield County. That’s right – there are only four Disaster Volunteers on call at any given time in the entire county. Four.

One cannot put enough emphasis on the importance and value of the Red Cross, in Fairfield County or anywhere else for that matter. And while blood drives and fundraisers are incredibly important in order to keep the organization going, what it needs most right now are bodies. Warm bodies willing to lace up their shoes in the middle of the night or the wee hours of the morning and trudge out to the unpleasant scene of a house fire, tornado, flood, or other natural disaster, and provide comfort to the afflicted. Give them a warm blanket. A steaming mug of coffee. Check them into a motel. And prepare the necessary paperwork to help them get back on their feet.

As we approach the holiday season, with its hectic schedules and feasts and shopping sprees, we also approach the season when “giving” once more takes a front seat in our vocabulary. While giving money and donating clothing and household items and even blood are tremendous gestures that should not go unnoticed, this year consider giving also of your time and your effort. And not just for a season, but for the months and years to come. Consider volunteering with our local Red Cross. Call Amy Douglas at 803-815-0688, or Donna Netecke at 803-514-4238.

Think about it.

Contact us: (803) 767-5711 | P.O. Box 675, Blythewood, SC 29016 | [email protected]