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“Red Cross is in my blood - once you start working or volunteering for Red Cross, it really does get into your blood,” says Carol, who first started working for New Zealand Red Cross as a school’s coordinator in 1990.
Since then, she’s delivered Red Cross programmes in schools as an itinerant teacher, taught People Savers to intellectually disabled adults, been a coordinator for the fundraiser Rose Day, a receptionist, and the area manager for North Canterbury. Carol has also been a long-standing branch member and a member of the local coordinating committee.
At the start of World War One, Red Cross groups began collecting money and medical supplies for New Zealand troops overseas. Carol’s great aunt supported Red Cross' fundraising activities.
“We’ve seen a quilt made in World War I in Dunedin where people paid their penny or sixpence or shilling, and signed their names which were then embroidered. The quilt was a fundraiser and posted to soldiers,” Carol says.
“My great aunt’s name was on there. She would have been a member of the public or a member paying her money to support Red Cross in its fundraising.”
Carol’s mother and aunt were proud members of the Oamaru branch. She recalls Red Cross being a special part of her childhood.
“I remember at primary school taking five cents to school to support Red Cross. Half of that money was to give us a milk biscuit to go with our glass of water for lunch, and the other half was being sent to starving children in Africa. That was my first experience of Red Cross – the milk biscuits tasted horrible!”
Carol also remembers being dressed up in a Red Cross nurse uniform. “The Oamaru branch were having a sewing bee one day, and I ended up with a Red Cross uniform my mother sewed me – terrible emblem abuse!” Carol laughs.
Carol has also passed on her love for New Zealand Red Cross to her children – her eldest son was a member of our first national youth forum. Now she’s working on getting her grandchildren involved.
“It’s quite generational. The family connection goes back a long way.
“I like the fact Red Cross is an old organisation that’s grown out of need; that it’s made such an impact right around the world.”
Get involved with New Zealand Red Cross
New Zealand Red Cross is part of the largest humanitarian network in the world, the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement. We’ve been helping in New Zealand since 1915.
Our work is diverse and far reaching, and would not be possible without the efforts of our amazing members, staff, and supporters who volunteer their time with us. We are always on the lookout for energetic, dedicated and experienced people to join us in our humanitarian efforts.
There are plenty of ways you can get involved: