Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Birthday Celebration Complete with Kids and Puppies: 200-Year-Old Citi Gives Back

Written by David Peveto, intern staff contributor 
If you were turning 200-years-old, how would you celebrate? Citi came down to the Dallas Area Chapter of the American Red Cross North Texas Region to celebrate both their anniversary as a bank, and the seventh annual Global Community Day. 
Around 150 members of the DFW community of Citibank employees and their families made the trek to spend the morning learning lifesaving skills, helping keep the Red Cross on track and ready to respond to whatever may come their way with volunteer projects, and from what I could tell, have a good time in the process. Which brings me to the main theme I found, little kids doing anything are adorable, oh, and volunteering is good. 
Source: Flickr American Red Cross-Dallas Area Chapter
Throughout the day the Citibank community had the chance to do several activities including: packing and preparing Piper the Puppy for deployment, watching the Red Cross produced film F5, getting hands-only CPR training, and going on a tour of our facilities to get a basic understanding of how the Red Cross operates from day to day in Dallas. As a new intern here at the Red Cross, they let me have sort of free reign over where I was able to go and cover the event. I was able to go in and out of all facets of the day. 
I spent the most time in the room with teaching hands only CPR—a refined technique of CPR which eliminates the breaths and other parts of traditional CPR, and only requires the participant to provide chest compressions to the victim at approximately 100 beats per minute, ironically “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees is a common recommendation to set the pace for a life saving rhythm.
Watching the adults participating, and enjoying the experience of learning the steps was interesting, but watching the families of the employees was by far the more entertaining thing. Seeing these 4-8 year old kids trying their hardest to perform chest compressions on a CPR training dummy, and failing to have the strength to fully utilize the skills being taught to them. 
One very young boy was absolutely determined to save the practice dummy's life, so his father was as slyly as possible placing his hands on either side of his son’s and doing 99% of the work, but it didn’t matter at the end of the day. It was evident, this kid was filled with a sense of pride, which was mutually shared by his parents. 
Packing and prepping Piper the Puppy was a similar situation, the minutia of which forms and papers go into the bag to prep our beloved puppy isn't emotionally charged, or visually interesting, for that matter. But these kids knew they were prepping stuffed animals that would help other kids get through some of the most traumatic experiences. I'm pretty sure that helping like that isn't something they will forget anytime soon.
And throughout all of these experiences, I had an epiphany. 
Source: Flickr American Red Cross-Dallas Area Chapter
It wasn’t just the kids who were enjoying themselves and extremely eager to participate, it was everyone there. I was able to see a group of people legitimately get a kick out of taking time out of their busy lives to help others make this world a better place—what could be better than this for a birthday wish?
If you’d like to learn more about how you can give your time to prevent and alleviate human suffering in your community go to

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