On her first night as official honorary chair for the Canadian Red Cross, Marie Stelmach spoke to a room full of volunteers and supporters at the Coast Plaza Hotel.

Stelmach spoke of the great lengths the Red Cross community and volunteers go to in ensuring each resident of Edmonton is offered aid when it is needed.

“We want to let our community know about our services,” said Fatima Hasanali, the Canadian Red Cross’ public-affairs co-ordinator.

The Power of Humanity is an annual fundraiser meant to inform the public of the Red Cross’ actions, not only overseas but also here in Edmonton.

With the recent events that have taken place in Chile and Haiti, the public had yet to hear what the Red Cross does for local residents.

“This is about telling our story to Edmontonians,” Hasanali said. “It’s letting people know about how our services impact the lives of their neighbours.”

Eighty-five disaster-services volunteers are on call 365 days a year to ensure city residents will get aid if they are victims of a fire or flood.

“If there is any disaster like in Haiti, we get requests to bring family members together,” said David Baine, a retired University of Alberta professor and three-year Red Cross volunteer for the Restoring Family Links program.

Baine volunteers up to three days a week and helps victims of war in Canada search for their missing family members.

“I love the challenge,” he said. “And I’m just delighted to bring family members together.”