Hundreds of thousands of people made a sea of red in Manila to celebrate the work of the Red Cross. Pic: cc - joshoncreek
Hundreds of thousands of volunteers created a sea of red during the Philippine Red Cross Million Volunteer Run held simultaneously on December 4, 2011 in Metro Manila and in other key cities across the country.
From the 100 Red Cross chapters nationwide, the total number of runners was placed between 380,000 and 400,000 based on initial reports from the field.
In Metro Manila alone, some 350,000 participants between the ages 3 and 80 joined the race through three routes in Manila, Makati and Paranaque. Some ran, some walked and some marched across the finish line at SM Mall of Asia.
Richard Gordon, chair of the Philipping Red Cross, and proponent of the event, said the intention was to highlight the heroic role of volunteers, especially in times of disasters and other emergency situations. He said he was overwhelmed by the huge turn out of participants despite the rain showers.
Gordon, who had just returned the 31st International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement in Geneva, said many National Societies were impressed with the idea of the Million Volunteer Run and expressed interest in doing the same. With the huge success of the event, Gordon said he hoped it would provide inspiration for a worldwide run in the near future.
The Million Volunteer Run was also held to highlight the UN Declaration of 2011 as International Year of Volunteers.
Major sponsors of the event were Nestle, Caltex, SM Super Malls and Regal Films.
Vice President Jojo Binay showed his support when he joined the run from Roxas Blvd. During his speech at the finish line, Binay urged the public to continue supporting Red Cross.
Secretary General of the Philippine Red Cross Gwendolyn Pang thanked all the Red Cross staff and volunteers and all partners and supporters for their active participation in the Run.