Hats Off!

Emergency Supplies March is Red Cross Month and the Hawaii Chapter of the American Red Cross decided to start its “Hats Off” campaign on Friday with a donation-collecting rally downtown.

The local chapter assures residents that, “All funds collected will go to the American Red Cross, Hawaii State Chapter, to support local services for Hawaii’s people. Donations stay in the islands to help those in need throughout our State.”

Table of Goodies

Feeding the not-so-needy and looking to collect donations, the American Red Cross, joined by the Honolulu Fire Department, parked and set up tents at Tamarind Park on Friday.

Fire Truck

To make sure they covered all the bases, the Red Cross also set up tents of various purposes along the street-fronts of both Bank of Hawaii and First Hawaiian Bank — one purpose was to serve up some yummy-looking food! I’m always happy to report on good food!

HFC Bosses HFD Troops

With the weather being nice and sunny there was quite a draw with the food, the firemen and a couple of our radio stations hustling around outdoors .

Krater96 Van

KCCN FM100 Vehicle

The Red Cross had themselves a relatively captive audience with money collectors on all four corners of the busiest intersection of Honolulu’s business district. At 8:00 AM that morning they could be seen setting up and at 3:00 PM that afternoon, they were still wrapping things up.

What can I say? It doesn’t hurt to recoup some of the financial expenditures encountered with the earthquake that did some major damage to the Big Island in October, or to try to recover from the smaller, less-publicized incidents in Honolulu and beyond. The Red Cross is doing its best to stay above water… in case we get buried in some. Many of us forget that the Red Cross is not supported by any State or Federal government agency. It is the donations of concerned citizens and charitable organizations that keep it afloat.

We have had our share of things go wrong in the last couple of years, but nothing like what New York or New Orleans has had to endure. We are comparatively fortunate, and will hopefully never encounter, the devastation that was 9-11 or the tragedy that still is Katrina. I am a bit presumptuous when I say that we would never face a lack of response like New Orleans did. Would we? Well, there are still many people that lived through Pearl Harbor so let’s not get too arrogant! I think it’s a human protective device that forces us to bury the memories of extreme heartache or pain.

Unfortunately, partly because of this psychological trait, the emergency response people are often forgotten about when there is no current drama. If we are not directly involved with a crisis, we seem to take these agencies for granted. But, sit us down long enough, remind us of these unpredictable things, and we’ll be grateful that they’re there. As smug as we are, it’s sure nice to know there is a crisis crew in our own back yard!

Red Cross Bears

So, “Hats Off!” to the Hawaii Chapter of the American Red Cross and to all of their volunteers!

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