Yesterday the American Red Cross supposedly asked Kate Gosselin to remove a picture from her web site which shows her draped in what appears at first glance to be nothing but a Red Cross blanket. After receiving complaints Dave Shrader of the American Red Cross Southeastern Chapter stated, "We have since asked her to choose a different photo to post on her website and are awaiting her response." Then apparently he backtracked because he later stated, "I did mistakenly write that we have asked Ms. Gosselin to take down the photo. We have not. I meant to write we have asked that she submit a different photo for us to use on the phillyhomefire website."
Sounds to me like Mr. Shrader's discovered what many of us already knew, which is that when it comes to saying anything regarding Kate Gosselin, it's hard to please everyone and someone's bound to complain about something. I experienced the same backlash after appearing on the E! show on Kate and writing my book about the effects of reality TV on the Gosselin family and then receiving hate comments of my own because some of her detractors thought I didn't hate Kate Gosselin enough.
IMO the picture of Kate draped in the flag is inappropriate and has much more to do with her grabbing another 15 seconds of fame than her giving a rat's ass about the Red Cross. I'm a Red Cross volunteer and I can tell you for a fact she's never been in contact with the Berks County Red Cross and has never donated a dime to them, and she's sure never been out in a cold truck at 3 AM handing out blankets to crying parents and children who have lost their homes, their pets and everything but the pajamas they're wearing over their bare feet in the dead of winter. So let's talk about what's really important.
The Red Cross. As my regular readers know I'm a Red Cross volunteer, and I happen to have pictures of the truck because I took some for my kids when I was last on it on October 15th. The truck was donated to the Red Cross by a local women's organization and it was received with much appreciation. It is a converted bread truck which was once full of racks for breads to be delivered from the factory to local grocery stores. It fills the Red Cross's basic needs, and I do mean basic, and it's a gas guzzler. Here's what the inside of it looks like.
Behind the passenger seat there's a tiny sink with storage underneath. Everything is condensed and built for function, not beauty.
There's a small gas stove and all the storage compartments are labeled. The truck carries different volunteers all the time depending on who's on call and it's important to be able to find things quickly. We're all trained and certified in first aid and CPR and when we go on calls we're ready for anything.
In the back behind the driver's seat is a standing storage compartment loaded with bins of supplies we need for the comfort of people in crisis mode. We have as many comforts as we can afford that fit into the truck, everything from water bottles to blankets to slippers.
Along the side behind the driver is a bench storage unit. When we're at the scene of a fire or other emergency we bring families into the truck and try to comfort them. They are often traumatized and unable to think clearly and we take care of their basic needs. We make sure they're warm and safe and we help them find shelter for the night or the next few days until they find new homes. We also give them vouchers for clothing and places to stay while they get back on their feet. This all takes hours and the emergency call can wake the volunteer up at any time of the night. Be prepared to be exhausted the next day but know you'll be grateful because you're being tired doesn't begin to compare to what these poor families have been through and will continue to go throu for the next couple of weeks, months or years as they recover from their emergency.
Please excuse my hair, I didn't know I was going to use these pictures on my blog. Inside the bench are blankets and bags of toiletries for the families, containing little comforts like toothbrushes and toothpaste. In cases of fire the victims sometimes walk away from their burning homes with literally nothing. The blankets we hand out are nothing like the cushy creamy blanket Kate draped herself in. The real ones are thin and inexpensive but they do the trick when even the basics feel like luxuries.
IMO any more conversation about this just feeds into Kate's continual bid for attention, fame and money so I just have one more thing to say. Kate Gosselin, put your money where your mouth is. The Red Cross exists solely on donations. Instead of griping about how poor you are and extolling how thrifty you are by using all those coupons, how about donating some of that $4 million you made last year alone to the Berks County chapter of the American Red Cross?