Maria Johnson
I feel like I’m earning my wings.

The best part about being a Red Cross volunteer is the “Thank You” I get from clients. I don’t always notice it at the time, but later on when you get home exhausted from an emergency, that’s what I remember. And, it never leaves you, because people will come up to me in stores, at church or on the street and say “I remember you from the Red Cross!”

Volunteering for the Red Cross is a wonderful opportunity. There’s a great, diverse, international team behind you. And you get to work in your own neighborhood with people you know. I’ve learned so much, and met so many great people.

We really need more volunteers. There are so many different ways people can help, and once you are in, you’re hooked, like me. I’ll die with my Red Cross jacket on.

Norm Guimond
I wanted to use some of the skills I acquired during my business career to make a difference close to home.

I was a Navy pilot, then worked for IBM for 30 years. I retired a few years ago.

I had seen the Red Cross in action before, starting in Viet Nam. I have always been very impressed with the organization, and thought I might want to get involved after I retired. I thought that a lot of things I had learned in my career could be useful here. I came in to speak with the chapter head, and found out that they needed a lot of help with logistics. Supply side, planning. It was a very good fit, and I took it on.

I’m on the town’s Emergency Response Team, including the town supervisor and the heads of the fire department and the police departments. We’re responsible for planning the town’s response. We have fires, flooding and hurricanes, but we’ve also got Interstate 95 running right through town. So, we’ve got hazmat and terrorist scenarios we need to be prepared for. We’re a part of homeland security.

My professional life really gave me a great step up being able to help. Part of the challenge of my job is the logistics for all of this. We need agreements with hotels, clothing stores, grocery stores so we can react quickly. And, it’s not just small deals, because we could be dealing with major supply chain problems with a major disaster, such as a pandemic.

We need volunteers. They need to be self-controlled, and be able to enter dangerous, stressful circumstances. Beyond that, compassion and a desire to help.

Memo Alejandro
I feel like I’ve really accomplished something since I’ve come to this country.

I grew up in Puerto Rico, and have been a part of the Red Cross for 32 years, almost since I first came here. It’s incredible the difference it has made on me as a person. I love being part of a TEAM, and going out helping people who need help. Every time I go out on a call, I know I helped somebody.

I don’t volunteer because I want to be recognized, I do it because I want to help other people. I also enjoy the work. Going out on an emergency calms me down, releases stress and makes me feel better about everything. I like being good at what we do, and really being able to make a difference, which you can’t say about everything else we do.

I tell people that becoming a Red Cross volunteer will change your life, and make you a better person.

  Don’t wait another day!
There are local Red Cross chapters in every area of the state, and they all need volunteers. Click here to see a list of chapters and how to contact them.