There are more than 250 volunteers in the San Miguel de Allende Red Cross, and they always have a story to tell. Like Leonardo Herrera or Bere de la Cruz, who have seen and attended the birth of three babies so far this year. Or like those of John Wesley and Alondra Juárez, bilingual paramedics who handle patient transfers by ambulance to the United States.
Helen Licona talks about delivering the news when a patient tests positive for COVID-19 through her antigen test. Rescue volunteers could tell us about their many experiences cutting twisted iron from wrecked cars with the sole intention of saving lives because they know that every minute counts. The divers could tell us about the drowned they have extracted from the Allende reservoir. Or the paramedics that, together with other organizations, have worked as a team to extract people who fell into a well or were trapped under collapsed fences. The stories would continue and will continue as long as there is a Red Cross that takes care of emergencies free of charge.
Annually, the institution serves more than six thousand emergency services (not counting the programmed ones that do generate a cost). All this is possible thanks to the residents of San Miguel who do not tire of making contributions for the benefit of others. Of course, there is a government subsidy, 250 thousand pesos a month, but that is a quarter of the amount with which the organization operates each month.
Every year, the Red Cross launches a fundraising campaign that includes various events, including passing a donation box through the streets of the entire city. The goal is always high, and in 2021 they are going for a million pesos. Because of the health contingency issues, President Leticia Fernández thought that there would be no donation box through the city and invited the city to donate via the Paypal account, paypal.me/cruzrojasma or through the Banorte account, in the name of Mexican Red Cross IAP, account 0496479865; CLABE: 072240004964798653.
What’s coming next
In order for the organization to have its rescue workers attend all the cases that arise, they need better equipment. This year, after a remodeling, Casa Dragones decided to donate some furniture to the institution, including chairs, trunks, lamps, bureaus, coffee makers, barrels, vases, rugs, ceramic ware, and dozens of other items for decoration.
With the second month of collections, these will all be put on sale at the Casa Dragones Bazaar with the goal of raising a million pesos. The Bazaar will take place on October 28, from 10am-3pm at Av. Las Américas at the intersection with Paseo de los Conspiradores, at the Subdelegation branch on the east side of the city in Col. Ignacio Ramirez. The drive will close with a brunch at the Rosewood, featuring music, wine, cocktails, and an auction. Currently, due to the contingency issue, the date is still being determined, which may be at the end of the month or at the beginning of December. To get a ticket and more information, you can contact the Fundraising Coordinator, 415 151 0218.
What has been
The start of the Virtual Collection 2021 began on September 14. President Leticia Fernández de Noyola congratulated San Miguel residents because she said that the best Red Cross in the state is that of San Miguel. “We have the best Red Cross in Guanajuato. To keep this institution working, we need resources, and we only operate with donations. It is the opportunity that every citizen has to give back to the Red Cross for the service that they have given when they needed us. If we all come together, we can reach the goal. Your support means the hope of carrying out this great task,” said Fernández.
On that beginning date, the interim mayor Gonzalo González invited the city to join and always donate: “The collection is a clear example of the spirit of San Miguel people—by birth and by heart—who are filled by the essence of the city. We are a great family. I want to invite you to support them. There is no small donation when made from the heart. Let us show that the value and cooperation of our people are more of the characteristics that make us the Best City in the World.”
The COVID Monster
Continuing with the global commitment to detect COVID-19 patients and to access more resources during this collection, the organization offers “Covid Packages.” These consist of a mobile unit that carries out rapid detection tests during massive public events, performing antigen tests on populations from 50 to 200 people, depending on the capacity allowed by the health authorities. For more information, call 415 100 1427.
Continuing with their commitment to stop contagions, during the Silver Carpet (money) event on October 3, The Covid Monster was presented—a mojiganga created by Marco Debrayes and the idea of Dr. Liz McClay. It is a physical representation of the virus.
In the Jardin Principal, those who came, whether to donate or simply passing by, were given a flyer on how the virus moves and mutates. This was possible through a story written by McClay entitled “A Day in the Life of Ramón.” In a graphic, straightforward way, it is explained how the virus passes from one human to another. During this event, almost 28 thousand pesos were collected.
This year, the Virtual Collection 2021 attempts to maintain the Red Cross in San Miguel as the best of the state headquarters, with the best pre-hospital service; as a regional response unit in Guanajuato with a substation on Avenida Las Américas, and the best specialized equipment for emergency care, such as the free training center for other emergency and rescue bodies.
It will work to continue with the largest vehicle fleet, made up of 10 ambulances: 8 of them equipped for pre-hospital services, 2 for COVID services, plus the rescue unit. They will continue with a consolidated project to improve equipment and infrastructure.