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Understanding the Philippine Red Cross

Two weeks ago I got a call from senator Richard Gordon, asking me to become ambassadress of the Philippine Red Cross.

“Don’t concentrate on the title, concentrate on the job,” the Philippine Red Cross chair said.

Suddenly, I had a flashback of the time I saw the senator on TV carrying bodies on stretchers in the aftermath of the Yolanda disaster.

I told myself, “If I accept this title and do this gratis, I will have to get my hands dirty.”



But then a line from the Bible came to mind: “The first greatest commandment is to love God with all your heart, soul and mind. The second greatest commandment is to love your neighbor as you love yourself.”

So after three seconds (that’s how fast my neurons work), I said yes, and accepted the job.

When I was around seven years old, all I knew about the Red Cross was the lady synonymous to the institution, Rosa Rosal. When I saw her last Friday during a bloodletting program, I was starstruck.

It may have been obvious to her as she whispered to me, “Concentrate on blood services. Everybody needs blood but only few want to donate their blood.”

I thought to myself, why are people so precious of their blood? I think it’s because we have this notion that when we donate blood, you become weak, which is actually the exact opposite. Bloodletting stimulates the production of new blood cells and in turn helps in maintaining good health, this, according to organicfacts.net. But the most important thing to know is that when you donate blood, you help save lives.

I started doing my research and found out the Philippine Red Cross goes beyond blood services. They have disaster management services, safety services, health services, social services, among many others.

PRC and its partners, through the Haiyan Recovery Program, have completed a total of 74,458 shelters for Yolanda victims. They also help support 62,670 families, the construction and rehabilitation of sanitation facilities in 64 schools, the rehabilitation and construction of 53 health facilities and 434 classrooms.

To donate or volunteer to the Philippine Red Cross, e-mail fundgeneration@redcross.org. ph.