Author Archives: Kathryn Hecht

When helping people is your ‘thing’

TygeTyge 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

A Tie That Binds

sierra-325x216American 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

The Enduring Impact of Fire Relief in 2017

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.

 – 

Read more

Lake County Wildfire Anniversary: ‘Unexpected Hero’

This story was originally published September 27, 2015.

By Eric Maldonado, volunteer contributor, American Red Cross

Obtener en Español

rodriguez-familyThe 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

Lake County Wildfire Anniversary: “30 Days Later – The California Wildfires Response”

This article was originally published on October 12, 2015.

Immediate Collaboration 

anniversary 1The ongoing drought across California has given way to another historic wildfire season. Beginning September 9, 2015, two of the most destructive wildfires in state history flared throughout northern California. The Valley Fire is now the third most destructive fire in state history and the Butte Fire the seventh most destructive blaze. Combined, these fires burned more than 150,000 square acres and destroyed more than 1,700 homes, displacing thousands of families. Read more

Quiet Gratitude

Below are the contents of a letter sent to our offices by a grateful recipient of Red Cross services during the North Bay wildfires. They asked to remain anonymous but were happy to share their perspective.

June 27, 2018

Dear Red Cross Angels,

When the fire devoured [my home], it vaporized every vestige of my life, including my very identity-and it nearly vaporized me. I escaped, barefoot, with only seconds to spare. As I approached the Veterans Memorial Hall, at around 4:30 AM., I was struck by the realization that, for the first time in my adult life (at age 77), I was utterly helpless and at the mercy of strangers. For a man who had always felt extremely strong, capable, and independent, it was a shock, and I was apprehensive about what might lie before me. Read more

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