What You Should Know About Best Friends

by Suzanne Wiley, volunteer contributor, American Red Cross North Texas Region

Do you remember your very first best friend? Do you remember why you picked them? Maybe it was your shared love of Big Wheels or perhaps you both preferred drawing unicorns instead of joining in a game of dodge ball. Maybe it was the little boy or girl sitting at the blocks, needing help to finish the kingdom they were building.

Whatever it was, we are drawn to certain people because we feel a sameness with them. A best friend is that one special person we can count on to break out the pom-poms to celebrate or show up with a box of tissues and a strong shoulder to lean on.

“Friendship is the only cement that will ever hold the world together.” – Woodrow T. Wilson

My first best friends were a set of fraternal twins, about my age, who lived down the street. I can’t remember how we became friends, but I do recall why they were my best friends. It’s because I could always count on them to come play with me. We identified as best friends because we relied on each other to be there.  Those early years of connecting with others and developing friendships weren’t just child’s play. It is how we shape our friendships for the rest of our lives.

Research from the University of Pennsylvania found that most of us chose our friendships based on the help and care those friends will provide for us when we need it most. In fact, psychologists who have studied friendships conclude that people who have a best friend that is not only reliable, but that also relies on them, makes people feel good. Just being with your BFF during stressful situations lowers our cortisol, the hormone that makes you feel stress.

“…our strength is dependent on the strength of our friendships.”- Lauren Martin

When disasters strike, stress ensues. Fortunately, for more than 10 years, the American Red Cross of North Texas has had best friends who help reduce stress and help provide aid to those in need.

In 2006, the Red Cross of North Texas partnered with the North Texas Food Bank, Salvation Army, DFW Metroplex Area Command and the Volunteer Center of North Texas to form a strong #squad called the Mass Care Task Force. When disasters strike, this squad is committed to helping the 250,000 North Texans and each other. Now that’s what I call the best-est of friends.

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The Mass Care Task Force (MCTF) “is activated to address humanitarian needs resulting from major disasters and works together to leverage the strengths of each partner agency.”

  • The American Red Cross provides shelter, food and assistance in locating loved ones after a disaster
  • The Salvation Army serves three hot meals each day
  • The North Texas Food Bank provides food and drinks to disaster victims
  • VolunteerNow recruits and assigns disaster volunteers

Today, on National Best Friend’s Day, the American Red Cross would like to thank our best friends, volunteers and all the people who have our back.

We couldn’t help victims rebuild their lives without you!

Do you have a friend who works at one of these organizations? Share this post with them to say thank you for being a friend.

Join our #Squad! Sign up to volunteer or donate to help support disaster relief efforts nationwide.