By Marcia Antipa
This is the story of Lillian Phan, a bright and accomplished young woman, who also happens to be a stellar volunteer with the American Red Cross. Like so many American stories, Lillian’s begins with immigration, determination, and hard work.
Lillian’s parents immigrated from Vietnam, sponsored by a Christian organization that gave them a head start with food and shelter. Eventually, the Phans moved to Santa Clara County. Both had to overcome the language barrier and reinvent themselves.
“My Dad gave up architecture and became a nuclear engineer. My mom gave up her law degree.”
Due to the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19, we made the difficult decision to cancel our annual American Red Cross San Francisco Gala event this year to protect the members of our community and guests. Under usual circumstances, the Gala is a moment when we honor both an outstanding corporation and a dedicated individual who have furthered the Red Cross mission in the Bay Area. Our 2020 Red Cross Philanthropic Company of the Year, The Clorox Company, and 2020 Red Cross Humanitarian of the Year, Chief Eric Reinbold of the Paradise Police Department, will be honored at our 2021 event. But we want to take a moment to recognize them now. Read more
We’re still very grateful for our partners, sponsors, and other supporters who make this dinner possible — and look forward to next year’s event
Danny Lucas, a longtime captain with the Watsonville Fire Department, was to be honored at this Sunday’s Farm to Table Dinner.
The Farm to Table Dinner is a spectacular event, hosted annually by our American Red Cross chapter here in the Central Coast. Held in a beautiful outdoor setting, this family-style dinner is prepared by some of Northern California’s most preeminent chefs. This signature event provides guests with a special opportunity to celebrate our organization’s local impact and raise critical dollars for those programs, all while enjoying some of the finest offerings from local farms and wineries.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many weeks ago we made the decision to cancel our 6th annual dinner. It was to have occurred this Sunday, June 7, at the stunning Carmel Valley Ranch. Proceeds from the event this year were to have supported the lifesaving work we do in Blood Services. Read more
By Marcia Antipa
Abby and son, Carl, in 1967.
In October of 1966, Abby Chapman and Carl Borders had been married just a year and a half, when Carl shipped off to Vietnam. Abby had just learned that she was pregnant with their first child. The war and the pregnancy would bring the American Red Cross into her life for the first time.
As a recent medical school graduate, Carl was in high demand in wartime. He was assigned to a new Army MUST field hospital in Tay Ninh. MUST stands for Medical Unit, Self-contained, Transportable.
“I felt as though he was fairly safe there, and he wasn’t. Mortars were attacking his company and the hospital. It was very disheartening for me to think this was where he was going.”
On January 24, 2018, Alan Freberg and Laura Bellizzi were running errands only to return to their apartment and find that their home of twenty-five years had burned down. “There were ten fire engines…there had been an electrical surge,” remembers Laura.
Laura and Alan had no prior experience with the American Red Cross. “The Red Cross was there immediately,” explains Laura. “They gave us blankets and kept offering us food…It was kind of drizzling out, and I was shaking. I finally told them I don’t need another blanket, I’m not cold. I’m shaking because my house just burned down,” Laura recalls. Read more
This is another in a series of stories we are posting on this regional blog related to the American Red Cross response to the Kincade Fire disaster:
Chris Reese, shown at the Red Cross shelter in Petaluma last week, was also interviewed for this video about the partnership between the Red Cross and Salesforce. (Photo: Jim Burns | American Red Cross)
See more stories related to the Red Cross response to the Kincade Fire.
See photos from this response.
Two years ago, Chris Reese decided to shift gears, leaving the technology company that had employed him so he could pursue a better work-life balance. “I embarked on a year of service,” he said, smiling.
It was also a year that introduced Chris to the American Red Cross. Read more