Written by Magen Moody, volunteer contributor
|Magen serves the Red Cross as a Dallas Tiffany Circle Member and a DFW Young Professionals Auxiliary Board Member.|
Have you ever stopped to listen to a life? Have you thought about what your life would say to someone, if they were to listen to yours? When my fast-paced day ends, I head home and am greeted by boxes that have been waiting to be unpacked since my move (let’s just say it’s been about 3 months). With the feeling that the days are getting shorter and my to-do list is getting longer, I hold the self-pity and begin my hours of unpacking. Opening a box labeled “study,” I find a drawing that I was given by a child staying at a Red Cross shelter when her family’s house was tragically destroyed during a fire. Next, I find a tattered Red Cross hat and a disaster action team badge that my father wore the day he rescued a family from their home during a flood. Among other items, I spot a card of encouragement signed from my “Red Cross Family” that was given to me while my mother was in the hospital for a month.
While most boxes were heavy with material items; this box was a storage place for memories and a vessel of stories from so many lives that had been touched by the American Red Cross, mine included.
My Red Cross story began on a day when fates converged, August 10, 2010, while I was considering becoming a volunteer on the Disaster Action Team. My father was a Disaster Action Team lead, and he traveled around the Country with the American Red Cross, his most loved passion, before he passed away on August 10, 2000 in a car accident. Ten years later, it was curiosity that brought me to a page written about women leaders and philanthropists around the US who make a $10,000 commitment and, with humanitarian action and compassion, aid in the funding and founding mission of The American Red Cross. Not only was this day a memory of a lost loved one, but it was especially difficult as I was juggling responsibilities to close out my Grandfather’s Estate, who had passed away just a few months prior. Before I could continue reading about the Tiffany Circle, I received a call that I would be expecting a check in the name of my father that had been ‘undeliverable’ when closing out an account of my grandfather’s—this check would be for $10,000.
It was not a coincidence that the tenth anniversary of my father’s passing was the day that I received a check allowing me to make my Tiffany Circle investment—it was the beginning of a story that I needed to share. The day I was able to meet with the Red Cross to give my donation was August 15—the day my father would have celebrated his birthday.
It is now going on three years that I have been a member of the Tiffany Circle, and two years that I have held an elected position on the National Council. Not only have I had the opportunity to meet, befriend and learn from these powerful and trailblazing women, but also I have had the opportunity to see the communities that are tragically destroyed by life’s emergencies and hear the stories of hopeful victims that are able to build back their lives because of the American Red Cross.
The inaugural membership of the newly formed American Red Cross Young Professionals Auxiliary is inclusive of more than 120 tenacious, compassionate, and vision focused Dallas young professionals. When I was asked to take a board position for the YPA, I hesitated as I was in and out of the hospital with my mother who was struggling with heart failure. It was at that moment that I remembered that this is what it is about. This is why we are here. The America Red Cross is an organization intent on being first responders to the prevention and preparedness of life’s emergencies. Are we not the first responders to our own lives?
It takes immense courage, time and faith to start something new; but it takes only a room of empowered individuals to take the time to listen, and change the world.
With the rest of our lives ahead of us, there is not a reason to let someone else write our stories. Service provides meaning, which in turns provides memories. I am so truly grateful to have friends and mentors in my “Red Cross Family,” and I look forward to being a part of the next chapter of the American Red Cross through the Young Professionals Auxiliary!
|The inaugural Red Cross YPA board brings unique fundraising and service opportunities to young professionals in the DFWarea.|
If you are young person between the ages of 21-30 and want to learn about, experience and advocate for the American Red Cross in DFW in a special way, join us by becoming part of the Young Professionals Auxiliary. You will meet other young professionals in the DFW area who have a passion for serving their community while gaining access to special Red Cross service and social events. To learn more and complete your membership application, visit the Red Cross YPA page on our new Red Cross DFW website!