“The Essential Meaning of Resolve”

The online Merriam-Webster dictionary has several meanings for the verb ‘to resolve’. We’re most interested in number two.

This time of year, many people reflect back and look ahead, taking stock, so-to-speak, of gains, losses, regrets, successes and failures during the past year, and then planning ahead for change: how they want to be or what they want to do (or not do) going forward.

They ‘resolve’ to do things differently. They, like the second definition of the verb in Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary, decide “to make a definite and serious decision to do something”. With that in mind, resolutions appear to be earnest undertakings requiring at times deep effort and commitment, resiliency to work through or overcome obstacles on the way to fulfillment and, perhaps most of all, offer profound feelings of purpose once accomplished.

We encourage these undertakings even during times of great challenge like, for example, a global pandemic. As you prepare your list of resolutions for 2022, we ask that you consider taking up one or more of those listed below and making your choices a habit in the new year and the years ahead. We promise to be there with you all the way – sleeves up, hearts open, all in.

Volunteers make up 90 percent of our Red Cross workforce. New dedicated and trained volunteers are always needed to maintain response capacity for providing disaster relief, delivering lifesaving blood, supporting military families during crisis, and other critical roles. In-person and virtual opportunities are available in multiple lines of humanitarian services. We’ll train you and together we’ll do the rest. Become a Red Cross volunteer.

Blood donations are needed every day to help patients. This could be a patient who needs around 100 units following a car accident or a patient in cancer treatment or sickle cell crisis who needs transfusions to continue treatment or ease debilitating pain. Platelets are also essential, especially for people in chemo treatment. We provide nearly 40 percent of the nation’s blood supply. This essential service relies on regular donors. Become a Red Cross blood and/or platelet donor.

Money, as they say, doesn’t grow on trees. (Thankfully, because we much prefer leaves on trees.) Every dollar counts when it comes to providing relief following tornadoes, hurricanes, other natural disasters and home fires. We’re proud that an average of 90 cents of every dollar we spend is invested in delivering care and comfort to those in need. We see first-hand the gratitude from those who welcome help when they need it most. Become a Red Cross supporter.

For inspiration, we turn to Suzanne Sudmeier, one of our disaster health services volunteers. Reflecting upon Clara Barton, our American Red Cross founder who was born 200 years ago, Suzanne she feels honored to continue Clara’s legacy of easing the suffering of others.

I am always in awe of people who have the foresight, courage and energy to be trailblazers for the sake of humanity. Certainly, Clara Barton is one of those people. I can only imagine the personal sacrifice she took upon herself to be true to her principles and vision.
I live such a comfortable life – even when deployed we cannot compare any of our discomforts to those she must have faced. I honestly do not know if I could ever do what she did – but I am privileged to be a follower.

– Suzanne Sudmeier, Red Cross disaster health services volunteer and registered nurse based in central Minnesota

Make 2016 the year of no more excuses

By Cassie Sage, American Red Cross Intern

Flood survivor Marcia Walsh welcomes hot meals from Red Cross volunteers James Brown; Sherri Brown and Devyn Brown in Missouri, January 4, 2016. Photo credit: Daniel Cima
Flood survivor Marcia Walsh welcomes hot meals from Red Cross volunteers James Brown, Sherri Brown and Devyn Brown in Missouri, January 4, 2016. Photo credit: Daniel Cima

It’s once again a new year and probably 2016 already has seen broken resolutions. This year the Red Cross wants to encourage you to do something that will truly make you happy: help others.  This may be the best way to bring happiness not just to others but to you as well.  Instead of a spin class, maybe a CPR class would benefit the mind, body and soul.

How can you be healthy if you’re not internally happy? It’s supposed to be the little things in life that make us the happiest and by doing something for others, you’re not just helping someone else but inspiring a change for the better in the world. In a time like this there is nothing more important than shining bright with a positive light.

Step One: Donate blood
Donors of all blood types are needed to give blood to help ensure a sufficient supply throughout the year. During winter seasonal declines often occur because of severe winter weather and illnesses, like the flu.  Click here to find blood donation appointments near you.

Step Two: Donate time
Everyone is welcome to volunteer and make a difference. The Red Cross encourages you to volunteer, assisting during home fires responses and other disasters all across the United States. Click here to learn about volunteer opportunities. (Click here to see the latest about volunteers responding to disasters in Missouri and Texas.)

Step Three: Donate money
The Red Cross depends on the generous support of the American public to assist people affected by disasters. Consider making a donation today by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

Step Four: Take a class
Next on your resolution list should be taking a Red Cross class. These classes include CPR, First Aid, Lifeguard Training and Disaster Preparedness. We can’t think of a better way to keep a happier you new year’s resolution than to learn lifesaving skills that could help you and your family. Click here to find classes near you.

Make this year the year that you begin taking positive steps that bring happiness to you and assistance to others. The new year brings a new you and finding a resolution that really sticks can be hard, but helping others may be the perfect way to start!

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