Editor’s note: This blog post was written by Trace Adkins, who has agreed to be the spokesperson for the 2012 American Red Cross Holiday Giving Campaign.
I’m excited that I can help the American Red Cross spread the message of “Give Something that Means Something” this holiday season. The slogan really says it all. Every year, when I send Christmas greetings out to my fans, I always try to add some kind of little something like, “Don’t forget the reason for the season.” This campaign is about spreading some love around, instead of just giving presents—which is a great expression of love, don’t get me wrong!-—But still, I can’t think of any gift that would leave you feeling more satisfied than helping out communities in need and the folks who benefit from the good work that the Red Cross does.
I have a real personal connection to the Red Cross, myself. I had, of course, been aware of the Red Cross all my adult life, but I didn’t have an interaction with the organization until a fire left my family’s home badly damaged. I was on an airplane on my way to Anchorage, Alaska when it happened, but my wife told me that one of the first people on the scene was a Red Cross volunteer. That lady was well trained and asked my wife, “I know this is crazy, but listen to me, do you have your wallet?” She started asking all these questions nobody thinks about at a time like that, unless they’re trained. The Red Cross didn’t have any idea whose house had burned when they showed up, and it didn’t matter to them that I’m a singer. They would have given that kind of comfort and support to anyone in the same situation, and that means so much to me and my family.
After the house burned, there were a lot of people wanting to help us, and I said, “Look, we have means. We’re fine. But take that feeling of generosity and point it toward the Red Cross.” At the time, it was right after those tornadoes had torn across the South and there had been floods in Tennessee, and I could see all the great work they were doing in my community.
So I feel really excited that I can give back to the organization this way. This season, I’m going to encourage people to donate to the Red Cross, give blood, and send cards to service members, veterans and their families. You can do that starting October 1. My little girls are going to get involved with that, too. I hope you’ll consider joining me in giving something that means something this holiday season. Find out how at redcross.org.