We often talk of superpowers. We are fascinated by series and films in which characters with extraordinary abilities take on challenge after challenge, avengers who fight to save our planet from alien or terrorist threats. We see them in the world of comics, TV series, big-budget films, a reality far from ours. Superpowers don’t exist, you might think. They don’t if we refer to a superstrength, the ability to fly, the speed of Flash or the futuristic suit of Iron Man. The stories of these heroes (differing from generation to generation) have captivated us since we were children. But it’s fantasy, they are impossible to emulate, we could never save the world. Or that’s what we might think. There are many people though who save this planet and its inhabitants every day. They are not on film posters, but among us. Their costume is red, with a cross stitched on their backs, hearts and arms.
They team up to embody the 7 principles representing their spirit and ethics: Humanity, Impartiality, Neutrality, Independence, Volunteering, Unity and Universality. We are talking about the International Movement of the Red Cross – and of course the Italian Red Cross – which operates drawing inspiration from these 7 key words. The number 7 immediately recalls the capital sins, the Roman kings, Snowwhite’s dwarfs, but how many of us know of the Italian Red Cross’s Fundamental Principles? Not many, actually. A further sign that proves how the feats of this organisation are often overlooked. And it’s here that we find our superheroes. Yes, they exist, also in reality. They are the Red Cross volunteers. Their power is not divine or derived from a supernatural phenomenon, it comes from within themselves: a desire to assist others, to lend a helping hand to people who are in difficulties.
In this situation of global alert caused by the Coronavirus, the Italian Red Cross volunteers are relentlessly in action in our front line of response to the emergency. The media are rightly celebrating the laudable life-preserving work of doctors, nurses and all the health services operators, without whom our present and future wouldn’t have any hope. And, along with this contingent of modern-day heroes, we can’t not mention (and thank) the Red Cross volunteers, who – out of their own free will – support who needs it more, even if in a different way from doctors.
Among the new acts of real and true heroism, the initiative Time of Kindness has been launched, a step beyond the unyielding and continuous strive to provide emergency transportation and contain the spreading of the Coronavirus. It is an operation aimed at providing help and assistance to the more vulnerable brackets of the population: all over the country, the Italian Red Cross Committees are activating services to facilitate the daily life of elder and immunodeficient people. How? Delivering their shopping, medicines and essential items to their homes, and transporting the invalid. On the field are hundreds of volunteers of the organisation.
This particular national service, called Italian Red Cross for the People, has been instituted by the Italian Red Cross in collaboration with FederFarma, and it has been active in our province since last week in Biella, Cossato and Cavaglià. The initiative is mainly addressed to over 65 and fragile or non-self-sufficient citizens: anybody requiring support can call the free number 800065510 (active 24/7), or the Red Cross local operation room on 015.0151127 from 8.00 to 12.00 and from 15.00 to 18.00. “Close anytime you want” is the meaningful motto accompanying the post dedicated to the initiative on the Facebook page of the Biellese Committee of the Italian Red Cross. Yes, the time of kindness has come. Actually, with the Italian Red Cross it has never stopped.
While writing this article in my room (I’m too in smart working), I’ve been enjoying the music of Fabrizio De André, and just now Bocca di Rosa has come on. Without wanting to disrespect the unforgettable Faber, I’ll borrow a few lines from his song to adapt their contents and words, and close by thanking who lives helping others.
There is who helps out of boredom,
Who chooses it as a profession
Volunteers don’t do either
They do it for passion