Brett Batts of Norridge prefers to be called Mr. Christmas not just during the holiday season, but all year round. When asked why, Mr. Christmas shares, “We all need the holiday spirit all year round, not just in December. Cheer and joy are what I have set out to give everyone, everywhere I go, all the time.”
Joy, good cheer, and compassion are few of the sentiments Brett shares wherever he goes, and it is these sentiments that add to the feeling of hope and comfort to those he serves when he responds to local disasters or as he delivers blood.
Mr. Christmas has been a volunteer with the Red Cross since 2020 as a Transportation Specialist delivering lifesaving blood to area hospitals, in addition to being a loyal platelet donor himself. Always aspiring to do more, Brett trained, and currently also responds, to area disasters with the Disaster Action Team. “I have the time and desire to do more, and this is my way of giving back. I view my time with the Red Cross as a whole new volume in my life story and I’m working on making sure this volume has many chapters and that the stories in those chapters convey the spirit of joy and hope I’ve set as goals for myself.”
Not only is he holding himself accountable to spreading good cheer all year round, Brett is proud of his work with the Red Cross and has set his sights on soaring far and wide for many years.
“I hope to retire early so that I have time and energy to dedicate my retirement years to the Red Cross. From the first time I wandered into the Red Cross of Greater Chicago headquarters, I knew that’s where I needed to be. Reading about the history of the Red Cross displayed throughout the building is inspiring and the humanitarians that work and volunteer here are, as I like to put it — ‘the cherry on the banana split’! I’m honored to be part of the team and I hope to be part of the Red Cross for many years to come.”
Cheer and joy are indeed the feelings received when talking to Brett. Most recently during Operation Cookie Drop, Mr. Christmas serenaded area fire departments with Christmas carols. Operation Cookie Drop engages Red Cross volunteers to deliver cookies to area fire stations in appreciation of their hard work and dedication.
Singing Christmas carols during Operation Cookie Drop.
“The Red Cross always needs more volunteers. Everywhere I go I talk about the Red Cross and how people can play a key role even from home. In the meantime, as much as I can, I’m available to respond to wherever I’m needed the most.”
Thank you, Mr. Christmas for sharing your dedication, skills, and humanitarian spirit with the Red Cross.
The vital work of the American Red Cross is made possible by people like Brett who contribute their unique backgrounds, talents and skill levels. Our needs change based on current events, adding flexibility to get you involved in an area that inspires you! Visit RedCross.org/volunteer to learn more about volunteer opportunities in your area.
Written by Illinois Region Communications Manager, Connie Esparza