By Los Angeles Region CEO, Jarrett Barrios
March is Red Cross Month, the perfect time to honor Red Cross volunteers, blood donors, financial contributors and employees who bring hope to people in the face of life’s emergencies and disasters throughout the Los Angeles region each and every day! And, this year, celebrating all that we do is especially meaningful as we wrap up one full year of celebrating 100 years of Red Cross service in L.A. All that we’ve accomplished in one year, let alone in 100 years, is utterly overwhelming. What is even more amazing is to think that it all began in 1916, when a group of 25 concerned, but hopeful, individuals started our Red Cross chapter in downtown L.A. Even to this day, to me, these 25 individuals are local heroes.
Every eight minutes, Red Cross disaster workers respond to a community disaster by providing shelter, food, emotional support and other necessities to people during their greatest time of need. And, we depend on local heroes to do this type of life-saving work and to fulfill our humanitarian mission. So, no matter what area of the Red Cross you represent: Community and Preparedness Education, Services to the Armed Forces and Veterans, International Services or Blood Services, you too are a local hero.
I am very excited to announce that, this year, as part of Red Cross Month and our 100 years of service in Los Angeles, our city will be saluting Red Cross humanitarian efforts in a celebration that has erupted all over town! LAX will be lighting up their pylons in red and white. The US Bank’s Crown Tower, downtown, will be lit-up in red. Also downtown, in Grand Park, the fountain will light-up in red. The Grove and Westfield Shopping Centers will salute the American Red Cross. Beverly Hills will fly banners along Rodeo Drive and Wilshire Boulevard and, Manhattan Beach city officials will wear American Red Cross pins on their uniforms— all month long!
As the culmination for our centennial year, with the support of Wells Fargo Bank as our presenting sponsor, we will be honoring The Walt Disney Company as Humanitarian Company of the year at the birthday party of the century in Beverly Hills. The celebration will take place at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel on March 16, and I hope to see you there. This black-tie affair will not only celebrate our last 100 years, but thanks to our local heroes— our volunteers, employees and supporters— we will kick-off our commitment of 100 more years of service to the region.
Finally, from the bottom of my heart, I want to say thank you to all our Los Angeles Red Crossers. Without you, NONE of what we do would ever be possible. Whether it’s preparing for the next big earthquake, responding to a home fire or reconnecting family members due to armed conflict or disaster, I am proud that the Red Cross has been a symbol of the power of the humanitarian spirit in L.A. for 100 years. This year, for Red Cross Month, I’m reminded that, thanks to the support and kindness of people like you, we will continue to be here for 100 more. All of you are my local heroes.