Thursday, March 8, 2012

A Hero Comes Home - Welcome Back, Anita!

by Lilly Watson, American Red Cross 

Last Friday started like most. I sat in a planning meeting with our Chief Communications Officer, Anita Foster, for what I thought was another "blue sky day" here at the Red Cross. One phone call later, I was helping Anita make a packing list so she could get to the airport in record time to deploy ahead of an expected widespread tornado outbreak. Literally, a few hours later, Anita was on a plane. 

I stayed in contact with Anita as I worked with the rest of our team to man the fort in Dallas. Keeping in touch with her this past week as she's been in West Liberty, Kentucky has been a unique opportunity. She acted as a Red Cross spokesperson to national media outlets to help people stay aware of what is happening in the area and how they can help. She met incredible families who survived the storms and are ready to begin rebuilding their homes. She made time to stop and smell the crayons with Daniel LeMaster, age 2, who is staying in a Red Cross shelter as his family decides what to do next.

Photo taken by Lynette Nyman, American Red Cross

Before heading home to Dallas, Anita and her team in West Liberty made this video that helps to show what life was like for this part of Kentucky over the past week. For days I've struggled to put myself in Anita's work boots but this two minute video took me right there. Isn't it incredible what a camera can do?

At the Red Cross we are surrounded by heroes - from the soldiers that we work with in our Service to Armed Forces programs to the parents and children that we serve in home fires. We certainly count Anita as a hero here for all of the assistance and exposure she brought to this suffering yet strong part of our country this week. I am so excited to welcome her back to Dallas tonight and hope that you will join me in giving her a big, blog pat on the back for her great work on this Red Cross assignment!

To become a Red Cross volunteer, visit us online. You can also donate online or give by phone through calling 1-800-RED-CROSS or texting REDCROSS to 90999.


  1. Vicki EichstaedtMarch 8, 2012 at 5:22 PM

    Anita is indeed a hero and my personal mentor! Thanks for this great story Lilly. I know you, Kyla and Dan did a great job keeping things running while Anita was out.

  2. Awww. Thanks Vicki. And yes, our team did an awesome job while I was gone! I am a lucky Red Cross lady!


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