Featured Posts

“Compassion is a thing of the heart” – Meet Helen Miller, a Red Cross volunteer with over 100 disaster deployments

In January 2023, Helen was one of many volunteers from all over the coutnry who touched down in California and helped both people and communities affected by the atmospheric river storm systems and subsequent floods. She was part of the feeding team, working hard to make sure that everyone – from the shelter residents to other volunteers and staff members – had hot meals every day.

Other Recent Posts

When Home is a Parking Lot 

“They tell you to get out and that’s it.” 

Dave Martin and a few dozen other RV Campers have sought refuge in a rain-drenched parking lot in Hollister during the recent California storms.  All of them were forced to evacuate RV campgrounds in the area when the floodwaters rose and threatened to swamp their vehicles.

California Storms Response: Stories of the Helpers

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to volunteer for the American Red Cross during a disaster – take a look back with me at my first deployment experience – to the Caldor Fire in California. I am a Public Affairs volunteer with the Northern California Coastal Region. After retiring from a career in broadcast journalism, I now tell stories for the Red Cross.

Unnamed Heroes

A mere 150 yards from shore on the return leg of his swim, a 15-foot, 2,000-pound Great White shark pummeled him with a bomb-like blast so forceful that he didn’t immediately register he’d been bitten. Likely mistaking him for a seal, the shark had sliced into both of Steve’s thighs and abdomen, delivering near-fatal injuries that rendered him unable to swim.

“After I was bit, I tried to float on my back and looked at my legs. Where there should’ve been wet suit and skin, there was just red.”

“A Sweet and Honorable Legacy”

“I feel so grateful and blessed that God gave us a daughter like that, so I said I will continue what she started.  She had a big heart.”

Virgie Roy is talking about her daughter, Patricia.  On August 4, 2017, just three days after her 22nd birthday, Patricia Roy died in a car accident.  An Airman First Class and Cargo Specialist at Travis Air Force Base, Patricia had plans to become a nurse, following in her mother’s footsteps.

A Community of Helpers

Disaster mental health services are an often lesser-known, behind-the-scenes Red Cross resource that is vitally important to the recovery of families affected by disasters. Equally vital are the disaster mental health volunteers that give their time and expertise in support of those who need them. Enter, Sharon Parker.

Full Circle: Red Cross Home Fire Campaign

American Red Cross volunteers Ron Redmond and Don Powell recently visited the home of Martinez, California resident, Burnie Gipson, to install smoke alarms. Burnie moved to the area after suffering a home fire at his previous residence in San Francisco.

A Spirit to Serve

Jamshid Kiani’s path to the American Red Cross is a familiar one for many volunteers: he was led by a spirit to serve others. Media coverage of Red Cross disaster response in 2015 had piqued his interest, so he sought to learn more.

“A few months after retiring from my job as a chef at a private resort, preparing up to 1200 meals per day, I saw a news item showing Red Cross volunteers providing food and other items to affected clients. I was moved, and I thought to myself ‘I have the knowledge and ability to help with this,’ so I went online to see what the Red Cross is all about.”

“I Want To Do That!”

Barbara is a retired professional newspaper reporter, who has served in many positions with the Red Cross.  Now, she is a public affairs volunteer, reporting on the Red Cross efforts to help those affected by wildfires, floods, tornadoes and other disasters.