Briana Taylor was vacationing in Thailand for Christmas in 2004 when the tsunami struck with lethal force. Trapped on the island, she and her family watched the devastating aftereffects unfold.
Once Briana made it home, she repacked her bags and returned to Thailand only six weeks later to do disaster recovery work. She was in a wave of spontaneous volunteers who arrived to help islanders find some sense of order.
Then Katrina hit in 2005, and Briana joined the American Red Cross as an event-based volunteer. She’s been a part of the organization ever since. Read more
By Andrea Mendoza
For Donna Logan, the call to help came after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005. The devastation that this natural disaster left in the state of Louisiana and nearby states — and the effect that it had on the country as a whole — was enough inspiration for Logan to get involved with the Red Cross. She had been retired for about a year, and Logan was looking for causes in San Francisco with which she could get involved. With a master’s degree in organizational development and a bachelor’s degree in Spanish, Logan hoped to find a position in which she could use her experience and skills.
As a volunteer with the American Red Cross, Donna Logan has more than done that. And this year, she was honored for her many contributions and compassionate work when she received a Clara Barton Award at the annual Volunteer Recognition Event for San Francisco volunteers. Read more
Mary Desautels was no stranger to service when awarded the Volunteer of the Year Award for Mendocino County in June. Mary has lived in Fort Bragg for 25 years, and for 17 of those years, she has volunteered with the American Red Cross. Read more
Tyge Bellinger likes helping people. It’s been his “thing” ever since he was a little kid. He first volunteered in 2017, during his senior year of high school. He joined the Home Fire Campaign and has been doing it ever since.
“I think I’ll keep building my work with the American Red Cross, but I love what I’m doing,” Tyge says. “I like doing things that can help save lives. And I like the people I work with, too.” Read more
American Red Cross volunteer Sierra Marcelius received the Gene Beck Memorial Volunteer of the Year Award in June of this year. When asked what the award meant to her on a personal level, Sierra reflects, “At the time it didn’t mean a lot; I didn’t do this to get an award. But now that I’ve left, it means a great deal. The people that I worked with thought I did a good job and valued my contribution to the team.” Read more
A note from Stephanie Willett, Regional Director, Development Operations & Foundations:
I’m summarizing the attachments as slightly tricky to read.
A lovely note from Kyra Janssen in Santa Rosa. A gentleman gave Kyra a “fire discount” on a new coffee table. She’s working to “recreate a new home” after hers was destroyed on October 9th last year in the North Bay Fires. He also offered to make a gift to an organization of her choice. She asked him to make a gift to the Red Cross.
The note was sent with a $50 check to us – and with thanks to the Red Cross from both of them.
As our recovery work on multiple California wildfires continues, and as we jump with energy into supporting relief operations for so many impacted by the current storms – I’m so moved by this note, sent almost a year after Kyra lost her home. To me, this note speaks to the incredible strength of our Red Cross team and the enduring impact of our work for so many people.
This story was originally published September 27, 2015.
By Eric Maldonado, volunteer contributor, American Red Cross
Obtener en Español
The Rodriguez family hadn’t even finished unpacking their apartment on Barnes Street in Middletown less than a week after they moved in.
On a hot Saturday afternoon, the family’s youngest child Danna didn’t want to take a nap and started to cry. Big sister Pricilla, 13, took Danna for a stroll outside in her little blue push car. But when they stepped outside, Pricilla knew something was very wrong. The sky was dark with what at first looked like rain clouds, but she quickly realized it was something much worse. Read more