Meet April Thacker: Making a Difference, One Family at a Time
By Cari Dighton
When glancing through the list of April Thacker’s many American Red Cross volunteer roles, it’s easy to see why her peers describe her as “the Red Cross mission in action.”
“I love working with people and the community,” she says. “I’m motived by knowing I’m making a difference in someone’s life, one family at a time. I love to share our mission and what all the Red Cross has to offer.”
A Merced County resident, April has been a Red Crosser for two decades; she volunteers alongside her mother, Molly, to lead the local Disaster Action Team (DAT). She also guided the Merced County DAT through an organization realignment in 2019, and helped her team learn the ins and outs of RC Care during the implementation of this new disaster response program software.
Through it all, she says her favorite part of the work is being there for families affected by disasters – providing care and comfort in their time of need.
April’s dedication and compassion for those impacted by disasters has also translated to her work as a preparedness educator, where she meets with local communities and county partners to create disaster preparedness plans.
“Through the years I’ve had the opportunity to work with amazing people who have now become part of my everyday life,” April says of the friendships that she has made with local families and community partners along the way. “I cherish them.”
Because she brings so much to the table, so often, she was recognized in June 2022 with the Red Cross Heart of the Valley Chapter’s top honor, the Clara Barton Award for Meritorious Volunteer Leadership. Named after the founder of the Red Cross, this special award recognizes a volunteer for their years of service in various leadership positions.
“I was pretty speechless when I heard I got the Clara Barton Award,” she recalls. “It’s such a prestigious award in the Red Cross world. It’s such an honor to be chosen for it.”
But, in typical volunteer fashion, April says she couldn’t do what she does without her Heart of the Valley team members. “It takes a village to do all we do and I’m so thankful for each and every one of them.”
To anyone interested in becoming a part of this team and carrying out the same type of fulfilling work that April does, she urges them to do it. To learn more. To “find what tugs at your heart and go for it.”
“There are so many different opportunities and areas to help within the Red Cross,” she said. “It is so rewarding in so many ways.”
It is the work of volunteers like April that bring the Red Cross mission to life every minute of every day.
“I strive to make a positive impact in the world every day. Whether it’s just a smile, hug or just a listening ear.”