Please join us as we say goodbye to 2021 with a look back at some of our favorite stories of the year from all of our lines of service.
Service to the Armed Forces
Lisa Ann Rohr was one of nine Red Cross SAF Mobile personnel who left the U.S. for overseas duty from August 2020 to April 2021. Lisa Ann was one of two Red Crossers initially stationed in Iraq, at the diplomatic post Baghdad Diplomatic Support Center (BDSC).
She says: “My entire ‘boots on the ground’ experience providing virtual services in Emergency Communications Messaging Delivery and Service Member follow-up with my peers, to creative ‘no contact’ distribution of incoming holiday donations, gifts and personal care items, to organizing cooking classes, language classes, and cultural history classes for U.S. and Coalition military forces serving their deployment rotation at BDSC, was a dream come true!”
You can read more about Lisa’s experiences here.
Blood donor Jennifer Sahni credits the Red Cross for saving her life after a challenging childbirth. After delivery, Jennifer’s cesarean incision would not stop bleeding. She received two units of blood, which stabilized her. Two days later, she had to receive a second transfusion with an additional two units of blood. She was able to go home the next day.
“I am so grateful to the people who donated the blood I received,” Jennifer said. “Because of them, I was able to go home and be with my kids. You can read more about Jennifer’s story here.
On Tuesday, March 16, two local residents were honored with American Red Cross commendations in a virtual ceremony hosted by the organization’s Central Coast Chapter.
“These two individuals exemplify the mission of the Red Cross to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies and are to be commended for their willingness to help others in distress.” – Michele Averill, Executive Director of the American Red Cross Central Coast Chapter. You can read more about Linda and Robert here.
Red Crossers and the public at large were invited to a speaker series to learn how the American Red Cross International Services team provides relief and hope in communities around the globe by reconnecting families separated by crises, helping rebuild communities devastated by disasters and working alongside health organizations to eliminated global disease.
Featured panelists included Chris Losavio, Executive Director, Heart of the Valley Chapter American Red Cross Northern California Coastal Region; Patrick Hamilton, Head of Delegation for the United States and Canada International Committee of the Red Cross; Koby J. Langley, Senior Vice President, Service to the Armed Forces and International Services American Red Cross; Christine Medeiros, Pacific Division Lead, Restoring Family Links American Red Cross. You can view a recording of the discussion here.
Navy veteran Michael Ocaranza awoke earlier this year to flames engulfing his apartment. He had just enough time to grab his dog, Sparky, and race out the door as fire licked around his head.
American Red Cross volunteers and case managers, Betsy Witthohn and Cindy Jones, first contacted Mike during his hospitalization and began to put together resources for his welfare following his stay. During the recovery process, Mike says they became “like friends from the past that I never had before – it’s a good feeling all over.”
You can read more about Mike’s story here.
From all of us in Communications, Happy Holidays and best wishes for the New Year!
If you have a story lead for any one of our writers, please email us at NCCRPublicAffairs@redcross.org.