Saturday, February 27, 2010
–Theresa Bischoff, CEO, NY Red Cross
Fred, who lived in nearby Waverly as a child, remembers the raging Cedar River as a placid river on which he and his Dad fished when he was five years old. He snapped the accompanying photo above on a side street not far from downtown. “I remember the empathy that I felt when I saw these people's lives piled on the curbs to be carted away as trash,” he said.
“What makes a 14-plus hour day worth while for me comes at the end of the day. On my way to the shelter, bone tired, I will stop for food. Almost every time, while standing in line waiting for a cashier, someone will ask where I am from. After replying “New York City,” they sincerely thank me for coming and helping them. I am ready to go again the next day.”
–Fred Leahy, NY Red Cross Volunteer
Diane Ryan, NY Red Cross Director, Mental Health & Service Programs, was one of two mental health workers from the Greater NY Chapter who traveled to Buffalo. Over the course of 10 days in Buffalo, Diane co-led the Red Cross mental health response. In this role, she coordinated the work of the mental health and spiritual care volunteers who provided service to friends and families of the passengers and aircraft personnel, those who evacuated from their homes at the impact site and responders in the field.
“The Red Cross is always there for those who need us,” said Diane. “I am proud to be part of an organization that mobilizes immediately to make sure the family and friends of those affected by tragedy are cared for.”
–Diane Ryan, New York Red Cross
As Dario reviewed all the hats he wears in Haiti—logistics representative, translator, port operations operator—he described his job as “Troubleshooter—making sure that what is requested by our teams in Haiti get to them quickly and safely … making sure that all things in transit to Haiti via Dominican Republic leave ‘yesterday.’ Fortunately, we are getting it done.”
One thing Dario felt on meeting the first American Red Cross team to return to the Dominican Republic from Haiti was a tremendous sense of pride. “I felt the essence of the Fundamental Principles of the Red Cross,” he said. “The team was beat up, tired and hungry, but most importantly, they were coming from helping others.”
–Dario Diaz Jr.
Friday, February 26, 2010
I graduated last year and have been looking into a career in computer engineering. As we all know, due to the recession the unemployment rate is very high, and not many companies are hiring. I have not had much luck landing a job. One day on CNN.com I read an article in which career experts advised students to look for alternatives until the economy picks up. Some advised people to work anywhere—even a coffee shop.
I thought about this and about how I was actively involved in social and community activities as a student in Nepal. I thought it would be a good idea to volunteer at the Red Cross and contribute in community activities. I started at the NY Red Cross’ Queens Area Office in August 2009, doing administrative work. I now volunteer three days a week and really enjoy the work.
I love the Red Cross because it has no boundaries. Whatever corner of the world I visit, I see the Red Cross serving people in need. Red Cross does not discriminate between race, religion or economic status. It looks at everyone as human being and respects everyone’s basic human rights.
Recently I joined AmeriCorps to contribute to the American Red Cross in other ways. Like many people these days I have not been able to land a job and get depressed sometimes. However, in another corner of my heart I feel highly content that I have committed myself to this voluntary service to my community.
–Ashma Adhikari, NY Red Cross Volunteer
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Charles Ball, NY Red Cross Assistant Director of Research, was one of 23 Greater New York Chapter volunteers and employees who participated in the relief and recovery effort. Charles conducted damage assessments of homes in San Diego County, and remembers most of the damage being an “all-or-nothing affair” with houses and trailers either untouched, or “just gone.” Charles said, “People often came to see the fate of their homes for the first time while we were assessing those homes. I felt that the presence of the Red Cross helped people realize that they were not alone with their suffering and that we were there to support and help them rebuild their lives.”
–Charles Ball, NY Red Cross
Ron’s wife, Sandra, has also been touched by the work of the Red Cross. Sandra lost contact with her father in Puerto Rico following a flood in the 1990s. “Within a week of contacting the Red Cross, they let me know he was safe,” she said. “Red Cross help has been essential in my life. When things are back on track, I’d like to become a Red Cross volunteer.”
–Sandra and Ron Fletcher, Manhattan
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
–Proserpina Watson, Bronx