The charter to establish the American Red Cross here in the CNMI was signed 40 years ago today. Shortly after the formation of the Commonwealth government in 1978, President Jimmy Carter, who is also the honorary chairman of the Red Cross, authorized that a chapter office be established here in the CNMI.
Over the past 40 years, the American Red Cross-NMI Chapter has always been there to assist the people of the Commonwealth. Local volunteers have provided emergency assistance following countless typhoons and storms, taught thousands of children to swim, and saved lives through CPR and First Aid training or assisted NMI U.S. military families connect with their service members during times of hardship. None of these essential services would have been possible without the selfless generosity of volunteers and donors.
Through its earliest days directed by Gil Ada Sr. to its growth in the ’80s and ’90s thanks to Rachael Hintzen, Ramon S. Guerrero (Kumoi), Brenda Y. Tenorio, Juan Pan Guerrero, and former governor Pete P. Tenorio, the Red Cross has been a guiding light during difficult times. The Red Cross, through its programs and services, provides comfort and hope to those most vulnerable. During the past few weeks, volunteers once again stepped up and provided help to families on Saipan, Tinian, and Rota that were impacted by Typhoon Mangkhut. “The spirit of volunteerism is alive and well at the Red Cross,” said current board chair Tayna Belyeu-Camacho who often reflects on the amazing work of all those associated with the local chapter. “Whether they’re representing a Red Cross school club, serving on our board of directors or helping a fire victim at 2am find a safe place to stay, volunteers are the life blood of our Red Cross familia.”
The Red Cross continues to expand its work in the community through various programs including its volunteer led Home Fire Campaign that installs free smoke alarms and educates families about fire safety. “I’m humbled everyday by the generosity of our volunteers who turn heartbreak into hope by helping strangers in need” said Juan Diego Tenorio, Disaster Program manager. “As a volunteer led organization it’s a privilege and honor to be working everyday with those who only want to help others less fortunate,” said John Hirsh, executive director. “Our volunteers are compassionate, collaborative, creative, credible and most importantly committed. The future for the Red Cross will always be bright, thanks to generations of volunteers who will continue to propel the Chapter and its humanitarian mission forward for another 40 years,” said Hirsh,
For more information about the Red Cross and how to get involved, call 234-3459 or online at www.redcross.org/nmi. (PR)