I am originally from Galicia, in northwestern Spain. I grew up near the ocean, and spent most of my summers at the beach in Valdoviño. Naturally, I have a close relationship with the water: I started swimming competitively very early, and when not training in the swimming pool, I used to body board in the ocean.
Wonderful memories: Being a Red Cross volunteer in the summer
As a teenager, I also used to volunteer as a lifeguard, which at that time was a service provided by the Red Cross. I have wonderful memories of these summers when I used to volunteer for the Red Cross – we had a great team making sure everyone was able to enjoy the beach safely. During this time, I was able to experience what it feels like to volunteer to help others. I realize that lifeguarding is only a miniscule part of what the Red Cross does, but this realization also helps to put into perspective the magnitude of the life-saving work that the Red Cross really does around the world, day in, day out. This is how I came to admire the Red Cross as an organization.
After my teenage years, life got busier and busier with my studies in the United States and developing a career, so I did not collaborate with the Red Cross in a long time. Then, I moved to Germany in 2015, and although I’m still too busy to collaborate directly with the Red Cross, I still wanted to ‚help the helpers‘.
A call for donations to say ‚thank you‘
Every time I see some natural or humanitarian disaster on the news, I also see the Red Cross helping the victims. Whether it is a tsunami on Christmas Eve 2004, or the multiple refugee crisis, the Red Cross is always there. In fact, the Red Cross‘ presence is so ubiquitous in these type of disasters, that I think it goes largely unnoticed by most people – it’s almost like an automatic thing to see. I feel as though, unfortunately, many people have become desensitized to what the Red Cross does because it’s always there. But I think what you do is commendable. And my project on betterplace.org is a way for me to say: ‚I take notice and I thank you.‘
‚I’m very happy to have raised 500 euros so far‘
Some of my friends raise funds for different charities by running marathons. However, I’m not a good runner, so I thought that telling people about my long-distance swims could also be an effective way to urge them to donate money. This is how my project got started. I’m very happy to have raised 500 euros so far. My intention is to keep my project going indefinitely (I will pick a different Red Cross project once the two projects I’m supporting now are funded).
I normally swim several races every year, so I expect to raise awareness and funds around the time of my swims, when I write updates on the News section of the betterplace.org project page.
Pictures: Angel Prado, Andreas Kasseck/DRK