A hand to those in need
Speaking of disaster response, the Red Cross was ready on Saturday to deal with the aftermath of the threatening tsunami. Red Cross affiliates around the world — the Hawai'i Red Cross included — are in nearly perpetual motion, handling disasters for individual families in their own backyards.
Just to cite one example: Last week a Makiki family was awakened by a neighbor and escaped injury while their home was destroyed by fire. Although no one was hurt, seven people were suddenly homeless.
And the Red Cross, which relies heavily on donations, was there to help with emergency shelter and basic needs.
Island residents are generous with their resources in the face of major calamity. But all of us need to remember and underwrite the ongoing assistance the Red Cross provides locally, as well.
The Hawai'i Red Cross pitches in to help with about 100 smaller disasters every year and works with other first responders to prepare the state for large-scale emergencies.
Global calamities such as the Haitian and Chilean earthquakes should inspire everyone's sympathy and support, but the Red Cross is essential to the home front, too. It must continue to rank high on Hawai'i's giving agenda.