Six Degrees of the Red Cross

From Red Cross Chat

You’ve all heard of the trivia game – Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon – based on the idea that any actor can be linked to Kevin Bacon within six connections. But have you heard of the same small world phenomenon applying to a nonprofit like the Red Cross?

Legend has it that if you ask a group of people simple questions, like “Have you given blood?” and “Learned to swim?”, everyone will find a first or second-hand connection to the Red Cross.

Our President & CEO Gail McGovern tested and proved this theory when she visited a Walmart employee meeting a few months ago. During Red Cross Month – back in March – more than 2,000 people shared stories about how a Red Cross experience changed their life or the life of someone they know. And just about every other day, we hear stories from immigrants who have early and fond memories of the Red Cross from their homelands.

We even have an entire cabinet of celebrities that support our mission, but I’m sure that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Every so often we come across someone uber famous who can claim a life-changing bond with the Red Cross.

Today, I learned that news-maker Ban Ki-Moon – Secretary General of the United Nations – has a childhood link with the Red Cross.

As a high school student, he participated in youth activities through the Korea National Red Cross. And at 18, he won an English-language contest sponsored by the American Red Cross. The prize was to join a group of international students for a trip to the United States, where he met President John F. Kennedy in 1962. He regularly shares it was this visit that inspired him to pursue a career in international affairs.

I imagine there are others, equally as impressive, linked to our organization that we don’t even know about. Tell us who you’ve found connected to the Red Cross and how many degrees we’re separated. It can be someone you know personally or someone you’ve seen on the big screen.

For example, did you know model and recent reality TV show star Antonio Sabato Jr.’s mother used the Red Cross tracing service to learn her grandparents and uncle had been deported to Auschwitz during World War II? (2 degrees of separation)

Extra credit to the person who connects Ban Ki-Moon and Kevin Bacon in the fewest links.

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