The value of the Red Cross
Next month is Red Cross Month, and we would like to recognize our everyday heroes who reach out to help their neighbors when they are in need.
These everyday heroes are our volunteers who help disaster victims get on the road to recovery. They brighten the day of an injured service member in a hospital far from home. They take our classes and step forward to help someone having a heart attack or to save a drowning child.
March is also a great time to become part of the Red Cross. It’s easy. Household members can work together on a preparedness plan. People can sign up to take a class, volunteer their time or make a financial donation.
Our mission is to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.
The Red Cross responds to nearly 70,000 disasters a year in this country. It provides 24-hour support to members of the military, veterans and their families; collects and distributes about 40 percent of the nation’s blood supply and trains millions of people in first aid, water safety and other life-saving skills each year.
More than 96 percent of the American Red Cross’ work is done by volunteers.
Here on Florida’s west coast, the Tampa Bay Chapter responded to more than 400 local emergencies, assisted more than 2,800 military families and trained nearly 8,000 people in lifesaving skills.
Red Cross Month is observed in dedication of everyone who supports our mission. We are grateful to people for their generosity, which enables us to continue our work, and encourage everyone to become an Everyday Hero during Red Cross Month by helping their neighbors.
Gregory L. Morgan
The writer is chairman of the board of directors of the Tampa Bay Chapter of the Red Cross.
Call on National Guard
The violence at the Florida State Fair is happening each year. The month of February is Black History Month, and those who acknowledge and honor it are shamed by such wild misbehavior from mostly black children and teens.
Tampa is humiliated each year as this becomes worse year after year. Stop the misbehavior by having the National Guard on hand for the time this occurs to back up the police, sheriff’s deputies and all other legal forces on the scene.
After the realization that they will not tolerate the Tampa area being held at bay over their childish attempt to frighten guests, locals or tourists, I feel this would bring it under control.
Speaking up for children
I offer my personal thanks to the four Hillsborough County school district transportation employees who openly contacted School Board member April Griffin with their concerns.
The district transportation department has long been in need of an overhaul. Grossly underpaid employees, terrible working conditions and poor management have created a chronically understaffed, overworked bus system — one responsible five days a week for the health and lives of our children.
Following the death of Bella Herrera, after a seizure on a district special-needs bus, the department promised a complete overhaul of its procedures.
The result was a new driver’s manual that is an embarrassing cut-and-paste job — so pathetic a work, it should have resulted in immediate terminations. It does nothing to advance the safety of our children and is an insult to the memory of Miss Herrera.
Retaliation on whistleblowers is a long-honored tradition in this school district, where the dominant management style is fear and intimidation.
These four employees put their livelihoods on the line for the sake of our children. They will live under the superintendent’s sword until such time as the voters can effect a complete change in the leadership of Hillsborough County schools.
Just play ball
For the record, we Redskins fans had tight end Jerry Smith for 12 years. Most of us knew he was gay, but we didn’t care or make anything of it, and with obvious class, neither did he. He played in Super Bowl VII in 1973, and Sports Illustrated called him “an outstanding receiver among tight ends, with the ability to break open for a long gain.”
In his career Smith caught 421 passes, including 60 for touchdowns, a record for tight ends at the time. He was named All-Pro and held several NFL records that stood for years.
All we cared about was whether Smith could get open, catch the damned ball and run. And he did. And we cheered!
He died in 1986 of AIDS at 43, but I still have the memories of his contribution to my favorite team.
Michael Sam will be a reasonably placed draft pick unless pressure from the press forces somebody to take him higher, much like media pressure has forced Tim Tebow out because he practices what he preaches about his beliefs, and his religion is not a menu to him.
But I don’t care who or what Sam likes or dislikes. I wish Sam all the success he earns and deserves.
Bickering like children
I read with interest Norm Mclam’s recent letter about re-electing no one. I believe as he does that our politicians are a disgrace. They have never saved any of our money and have put us very deeply in debt ($50,000 per person).
Our political parties fight and bicker like small children. I thought they were supposed to be leaders.
It might be better if there were no political parties. Maybe then they would stop fighting for their gang and start doing the job they greatly need to do.