1. Last weekend I went to Philadelphia for a wedding. It was held in this lovely little historic building. The entryway walls were adorned with black and white portraits from the early half of the last century (that make the 1940’s sound really old doesn’t it?), and as I walked through, two of the portraits caught my eye – not because I recognized the people, but because I recognized what they were wearing. I had seen those outfits just the day before in my office. Red Cross uniforms. I was so excited that I asked my significant other take a camera phone photo (above) of one of the portraits so that I could show it to you. It was cool to see Red Cross history in a non-Red Cross building, and I also just really love those vintage uniforms. (We had a few of them on display in our entryway last weekend for the “Courting Donors” blood drive – a Rose Festival sanctioned event where the Rose Festival Court princesses come to the Red Cross to judge flowers, speak, and – of course – donate blood. I know I forgot to tell you about that last week, but I was really busy. I did get some pictures though! Check them out here.)
2. Anyway… my second Red Cross encounter was even better. I was in the airport waiting to board my plane and fly home after a long weekend of wedding festivities when I noticed a sign advertising foot massages. My feet were extremely sore from walking in heels the previous day so I decided to go ahead and fork over the cash to relieve my aching arches. As I sat and received ten minutes of metatarsal realignment the massage therapist struck up a conversation, asking me what I did for a living. As soon as I said the words “Red Cross” his face lit up. “Oh! You guys do messages to people in the armed forces!” I nodded. He went on to tell me about how he had once received a Red Cross message from his family when he was serving overseas in the army (before he began his massage therapy career). He was in a combat zone and his family hadn’t heard from him in quite a while. They got worried, and so they contacted their local American Red Cross chapter. The Red Cross found him and delivered their message. He was then able to send a message back saying that he was okay. “Everyone in the armed forces knows the Red Cross,” he said. That made me smile. By the time I got up from the massage chair I felt much lighter – not only because my feet were relieved, but also because my heart was lifted by the reminder that I work for a place that really touches people’s lives.