When American Red Cross employee Bob Ellison-Peck had an opportunity to move within the organization from Disaster Services to working with the military, he thought of his son, Sol Peck, a service member with the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines at Camp Pendleton in San Diego.
A former Marine with a long family history of military service, Ellison-Peck was intrigued by the idea of serving the Red Cross and his son at the same time. He accepted the position and became the coordinator for the Service to the Armed Forces (SAF) at the San Diego/Imperial Counties chapter, where he provides support for military members and their families.
“Being the dad of a service member and a Marine from the 1960’s era, allows me to deliver the American Red Cross SAF information in a very personal way to the service members and their families,” he said.
When he assists a service member during an emergency or at a pre-deployment briefing, he said it is hard to look at the service member and not think about his own son.
Since Ellison-Peck went to work for SAF, his path has crossed with his son’s several times. He helped brief Sol’s battalion before it deployed. Sol also helped his father hand out dolls to children at a military family event on the USS Green Bay in September 2012.
Michael Hucks and his daughter, Brittany also give their time to the Red Cross. On May 9, 1999, tornadoes devastated their community outside of Oklahoma City, inspiring them to get involved.
“With the amount of events we have in Oklahoma I just wanted to do more for the neighborhood and more for the community,” Michael said.
Just seven years old in 1999, Brittany had to wait until she was old enough to become a volunteer.
When an EF-5 tornado tore through Oklahoma last month, the father-daughter pair was immediately called to help support wide-ranging relief efforts.
“I love the Red Cross. It’s my biggest passion,” Brittany said, as she and her father loaded Red Cross trucks with relief supplies to be distributed in Moore, Okla.
“It’s so refreshing to see…all the Red Cross trucks coming into my home and to my community and helping my neighbors and my family and friends,” Brittany said.
Need a last-minute gift?
To let Dad know you’re thinking of him on Father’s Day, send him a Tribute Gift. Just make a donation to the Red Cross in his name and then send him an e-card with a personal message from you.
More than 90 percent of the work carried out by the Red Cross is accomplished by volunteers. People can sign up to be a Red Cross volunteer on redcross.org.