Friday, November 10, 2017

A Veteran’s Tale: Honoring a Red Cross Team Member

Mauricio Serrato (center) is a veteran of the Marine Corps. He currently serves as the Disaster Program Manager for Brooklyn in the Greater New York Red Cross Region. Photo Credit: Erin Patrice O'Brien

by Stan Frank

Among the outstanding staff members in the Greater New York Chapter of the American Red Cross is Mauricio Serrato, Disaster Program Manager for Brooklyn. Mauricio is a Marine veteran, who grew up in Queens, New York, and served for one year in Japan before returning to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. There he honed his leadership skills by training Marine recruits.

Mauricio joined the American Red Cross in 2004. Initially, he worked in the facilities department. Through training and hard work, Mauricio soon became a volunteer responder, going out to help local families after disasters. He was hired as a Full-Time Responder and then as Disaster Manager.

After Superstorm Sandy, worked tirelessly to help his neighbors across New York City, with a focus on his home borough of Queens. After a two-year break, he again joined the Red Cross as a Program Manager and developed the operations plans for our Home Fire Program, which has installed over 60,000 smoke detectors across the region since 2014.

This past Fall, Mauricio deployed for 45 days to support the response to Hurricane Irma in Puerto Rico and St. Thomas. Initially, he worked with the Puerto Rico Chapter of the Red Cross to provide comfort kits and food packages to more than 2500 evacuees whose homes had been obliterated by the hurricane. Mauricio then traveled between St. Thomas and Orlando, Fla., where he worked with volunteers from Wells Fargo to organize the planning and distribution of emergency supplies for residents on the US Virgin Island, including St. Thomas.

Mauricio is proud that he could lead teams of Red Cross staff and volunteers to distribute more than 10,000 Clean-Up Kits, 180,000 pounds of rice and beans, 30,000 FEMA Food Boxes and 5000 cases of water to residents in need.

Asked what he finds most satisfying in his work, Mauricio said: “My experience as a veteran and my work at the Red Cross have given me the ability to reach out and help those in time of need. There is no greater satisfaction than that!”

Thank you, Mauricio, for your service! The Red Cross is very proud to have you on its team!

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