For Betty Lopez-Castro, supporting the American Red Cross with a donation was a natural response after a hurricane or other disaster had impacted the U.S. or other countries. But after the 2005 hurricane season, which was the most active hurricane season on record with twenty-eight tropical storms and 15 hurricanes, Lopez-Castro decided to support her local Red Cross in South Florida.
“After Hurricane Katrina hit Miami, I took my neighbor who’s an older lady, to a Red Cross distribution center where they were giving out water and food,” explained Lopez-Castro. “I was so impressed with the work of the Red Cross. Forty-eight hours had passed from impact and the Red Cross was out giving food and water and helping people feel more comfortable. I love the humanity and I saw first-hand how the Red Cross helped my neighbor.”
Shortly afterwards, Lopez-Castro became a lifetime member of the American Red Cross Tiffany Circle, a community of women leaders who advance the American Red Cross mission. Tiffany Circle members from across the country, each donate $10,000 or more annually to support the Red Cross and its programs such as the Home Fire Campaign and lifesaving classes such as CPR and first aid.
As a Tiffany Circle member, Lopez-Castro visits the Red Cross national headquarters in Washington D.C., where she meets with fellow Tiffany Circle members and learns more about what the Red Cross is doing to impact their communities.
“It is always an incredible experience for me,” said Lopez-Castro. “Living in South Florida, many people think that the Red Cross only shows up when there’s a hurricane but the Red Cross is present when a family is affected by a house fire and are in the forefront in eradicating polio worldwide.”