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Kelly Simmons: What the Red Cross Means to Me

Writers for the Red Cross

By Kelly Simmons

Kelly SimmonsInstead of holiday gifts, the adults in my husband’s family each donate to a different charity then explain their choice with a creative gift or poem, etc. (As a writer, I happen to be much better at this process than the rest of them, but I try not to gloat.)

Earlier in the year, due to a series of events I don’t quite understand, I adopted a street dog while on vacation in Puerto Rico. (The series of events involved: margaritas, a surf shop staffed by deeply tanned, dog-loving boys, and more margaritas.) The dog was already named Palin, and we decided not to change her name for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was that it was the only word she knew.

We have taken endless amounts of grief over this name – as if we were solely responsible for foisting The Palins onto the national spotlight. In November, when I read about Sarah Palin quitting a Red Cross 10K race in Minnesota, and leaving the event handlers high and dry, I decided that we needed to right her wrong. So we chose the Red Cross as our charity of choice, and gave every member of the family a Red Cross water bottle to remind them that when you start a race, you should damn well finish it. That’s what the Red Cross does. That’s what we all should do. Even my dog knows that.

The Bird HouseKelly Simmons is the author of Standing Still and The Bird House (Simon & Schuster). She lives in the Philadelphia area and divides her time between writing, teaching, and vacuuming up dog hair.

This guest post was contributed by the author to Writers for the Red Cross. Writers for the Red Cross is a month-long celebration that brings writers, readers, editors, literary agents and independent bookstores together to raise funds and awareness for the Red Cross during Red Cross Month.

About the Event | About Its Organizers | Follow @write4red on Twitter | Join the Writers for the Red Cross Facebook page