Saskatchewan volunteer receives highest Red Cross honour

When you think of extraordinary people, Sandra MacArthur of Osler, SK, certainly fits the bill.
Sandra MacArthur of Osler, SKHer dedication as a Canadian Red Cross volunteer over the last 13 years helping others in the midst of disaster was recognized in a virtual ceremony November 25, 2020, during which she was named a member of the Order of the Red Cross.
This is the highest award bestowed by the Canadian Red Cross. It recognizes extraordinary people who have provided outstanding service at home and abroad. In its 36-year history, only 320 others have received the honour.
“Sandra is a leader, a teacher, a facilitator, an innovator, and a wonderful woman who is committed to the fundamental principles of the Canadian Red Cross,” said Luc Mullinder, vice president for the Canadian Red Cross in Saskatchewan.
“She is willing to take on any challenge to help vulnerable people and it is wonderful to see her significant contributions recognized with this prestigious honour.”
In addition to vast experience in emergency management, MacArthur brings a quiet confidence, calm presence and great sense of humour to all she does.
Over the years, she has supported families affected by home fires, run emergency shelters housing hundreds of evacuees, managed field operations teams, and so much more in Saskatchewan, throughout Canada and in the United States.
Colleagues are quick to point out her calm demeanor and ability to bring joy to any situation.
“Sandra is a truly dedicated volunteer who also brings the fun with her,” said Georgiana Schuring, Disaster Management operations manager with the Red Cross in Saskatchewan. “She is also an incredible mentor to those around her.”
When she isn’t responding to disasters, you will find MacArthur helping communities prepare for them. She has been particularly focused on creating trusting and mutually respectful relationships with northern Indigenous communities as they build their emergency response plans.
“Sandra is an excellent facilitator and really took the initiative to get to know and understand the participants, their community and culture which instantly made the participants feel a sense of respect and comfortable enough to open up and fully participate in the activities,” said Josy Roske, Superintendent of Schools for Lac La Ronge Indian Band, who attended an Emergency Management training session MacArthur led prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“She used her own insights and experiences that put the participants at ease where they were able to understand and were willing to take risks and share their own experiences because of her respectful and kind approach.”
Mullinder also recognized MacArthur’s family and friends during the ceremony, acknowledging that the thousands of hours she has given as a volunteer is time away from her loved ones.
“On behalf of the Red Cross, we sincerely thank you for sharing Sandra with us – she has brought so much to both the organization and to the people she has worked with, and we are all better for knowing her.”
The Order of the Red Cross was initiated in 1984. Annual appointments of the Order of the Red Cross are limited to 25 Members. Learn more about the Order of the Red Cross pin.
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