Sometimes, what's touching about being a Red Cross volunteer is not just the opportunity to help, but seeing how helping brings out the best in people.
Volunteers Charles Jones from San Francisco and Pat Morales from Vallejo learned this lesson during a road trip in November 2012, transporting a mobile feeding truck from Oakland, Calif., to Queens, New York, to help with Superstorm Sandy relief efforts.
The duo was forced to make a stop in Salt Lake City when they realized they needed new tires for the 3,000-mile journey across the country.
As they were looking for a tire shop, they noticed a man and woman on the side of the road with signs asking for money.
Charles said the woman saw the Red Cross logo on the side of the truck and her face lit up. She jumped up and ran towards the vehicle. With an empty truck, Charles and Pat felt bad that they would have to turn the woman away.
The two men were anxious as they watched the thin woman, wearing tattered clothes, approach the vehicle on the driver’s side window.
But instead of asking for help, she wanted to give.
“She held up a five dollar bill,” said Charles, his voice catching as his eyes filled with tears. “She wanted to help.”
The volunteers were so moved by the donation, Pat said they tried to give a few dollars to the couple, but the couple waved off the offer and asked that the money be donated instead.
Charles, still affected by the generosity of the woman, shook his head at the memory fighting back his emotions, “it was the best moment I have ever had with the Red Cross.”