Vacations can be relaxing, and that’s just how it was for Nancy Young and her husband while visiting their son and grandchildren in Virginia this April.
“We got to relax and visit parts of Virginia we had never seen,” Nancy said. “I also was able to tour a few Red Cross offices and collect their chapter pins.”
Red Cross pins, a popular collector’s item for those associated with the organization, are earned through various means including serving as a volunteer, visiting other chapters, and through various awards and honors. Each pin signifies the chapter or region’s uniqueness.
“I have 33 pins now,” Young said. “You get to make a connection with people you visit or those you serve with on a disaster. Pins are a way to remember others, and well, I guess collecting has become a hobby of mine.”
Well the hobby paid off in a big way after Nancy’s recent visit to the Hampton Chapter in Hampton, Va.
“After touring the Hampton office that morning my family decided to take a tour of the naval ship yard in Norfolk before heading to a family friend’s home in Virginia Beach,” Young said.
Minutes after meeting up with the family friend, Young and her family hear a loud noise.
“I assumed it was from the nearby Oceana Air Base,” Young said. “But my son said that wasn’t a normal noise.” Within seconds, the family heard a loud crash and saw flames and black smoke.
“In your volunteer nature, you get curious so we headed over and just four blocks away, we found emergency responders working on a huge fire,” Young said.
That fire was caused when a US fighter plane malfunctioned and crashed into an apartment complex.
“Miraculously, no one was hurt,” Young said. “When the Red Cross Hampton Chapter arrived on scene, they recognized me from my visit that morning and asked if I could help assist people that were affected.”
That day, Red Cross responders were on the scene for three hours, and ended up providing food, clothing, and shelter for ten people.
Young earned her pin that day! But she went on to relax and enjoy the rest of her vacation.
For more information on becoming a volunteer or taking courses visit www.redcross.org