Appreciating those who provide community support through Red Cross programs

Guest post by Tanya Elliott, director general of the Red Cross in Ontario

Catherine Mitchell calls herself the bionic woman. She jokes, but it’s partly true...she does have a bionic leg at least. A bad fall left Catherine with a shattered femur that required her to spend two months in hospital and three months at a nursing home before finally being able to return home. Once she did, she realized she needed additional support in place to live independently.

The first thing she began looking for was transportation services to take her to and from appointments. There were a few organizations in her hometown of Sarnia, Ontario offering that service, but Catherine chose the Canadian Red Cross because she remembered taking Red Cross swimming lessons as a young girl. Just as Catherine relied on the Red Cross to keep her safe in the water, things had come full circle, Providing community support through Red Cross programsand now, decades later, she was counting on the Red Cross to help her maintain her independence and well being.

In addition to using our transportation services, Catherine also uses the Nutritional Networking program. Once a week, a volunteer takes Catherine’s grocery list and does the shopping for her, even delivering it to her home and putting the groceries away for her. These services have been a tremendous help to Catherine being able to continue living at home.

This month is Community Support Services Month in Ontario. This is just one story that illustrates how Red Cross supports those in our community. Every day, Red Cross staff and volunteers meet the health needs of our communities by providing exceptional care to clients like Catherine. From providing transportation to and from appointments, or health equipment loans, to offering nutritional support through programs like Meals on Wheels, these services help to preserve our clients’ independence and dignity and allow them to remain living in the comfort of their own homes and residences.

This month we are taking the opportunity to highlight the community support services offered through the Red Cross as well as recognize and thank our dedicated volunteers and employees. Thank you!
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