Five people honored at Contra Costa County meeting

By Ritch Davidson

Editor’s note: At a recent Red Cross meeting in Contra Costa County, the organization recognized five individuals who have made a positive impact in their communities. Their service is described below. For more photos from the recognition event, please click here.

Deborah Simpson

Deborah Simpson was on the phone with a friend when they both heard a beeping sound. When her friend asked what that sound was, Deborah replied it was her smoke detector indicating that the battery needed to be replaced. The friend suggested Deborah call the Red Cross for assistance. Deborah wondered, “Does the Red Cross do that?” After calling, she learned they did. A Red Cross team went to her house and replaced not only the batteries but the smoke detector itself, giving her a new 10-year model. Deborah found the team to be friendly, warm, and high-spirited, even bringing her some coffee cake from a meeting they’d just attended.

After her own detectors were installed, Deborah took flyers about the program to post them at her Church. She also encouraged the team to canvass her neighbors (which it did), saying she would be happy to let the team use her as a reference. Deborah was recognized for spreading the positive word about the Red Cross Sound the Alarm program.

Rayce and Wendi Loughlin

Eight-year-old Rayce Loughlin and his mother, Wendi, were watching television when a news story described the Red Cross opening a shelter at the Clayton Valley Library in response to the July 2018 Marsh Creek fire. Rayce immediately wanted to help, and Wendi agreed. They turned off the TV and went to the shelter, where they became “spontaneous volunteers,” setting up cots and whatever else was needed. They didn’t stop there. Rayce and Wendi returned to offer assistance three more times. For their selfless and generous contribution to their community and the Red Cross, they were acknowledged with Certificates of Appreciation and Red Cross backpacks.

Valerie and Robert Rodriguez

Disaster Health Services nurses Valerie and Robert Rodriguez were presented with a numbered Nurse Enrollment badge, a tradition begun in 1906. The American Red Cross nurse’s badge is a distinctive symbol of professional attainment and service to humanity.