Any organization, public or private, profit, not-for-profit or government agency develops bloat over time. The same is true of the Red Cross which has been going about its mission for 130 years. Fortunately, the Red Cross depends heavily on volunteers. If it had to pay for the time and effort of those volunteers it could not survive. And the Red Cross must survive. There is no doubt those remaining are working harder than before with more responsibility -- and they have to depend even more on volunteers.
We think of the big picture when disasters hit. The Red Cross is always there, generally the first on the scene, but it is the small personal disasters where the local chapters really shine. Though the Red Cross of Central Georgia has only four paid staff members, down from nine, sometimes scattered over 22 counties, it has been able to maintain its safety courses and its blood donation efforts while helping 569 families get through their personal tragedies, mostly fire, but also the April tornado that ripped through Monroe County that impacted 50 families. Finding shelter and clothes for a family that has lost everything is an expensive proposition, and the Red Cross looks to the areas it supports for support.
The Red Cross’ area is from sea to shining sea, from the flooding of New Orleans to the tornadoes in the Midwest to the wildfires in the West . And remember the flood of 1994 in Macon and several instances of severe thunderstorms. We depend on the Red Cross and the Red Cross depends on us for support.
-- Charles E. Richardson, for the Editorial Board