It is fall - November, which is the month honoring those of Native American heritage. Meet Jeff Kinneeveauk. He is of Inupiat Eskimo heritage. And, he's also a volunteer at the American Red Cross of Alaska chapter. Kinneeveauk sits on the Red Cross' Statewide Disaster Consortium, as well as the Red Cross' Corporate Partnership Committee. Kinneeveauk said that the principles of sharing and cooperation were engrained into him as a child growing up in the Inupiat culture.
He remarked, "The Red Cross organization is so transparent (its actions are clear; there is no hidden agenda). When there is a disaster, there is the Red Cross ready to provide immediate assistance and immediate feedback. I like that transparency." And Kinneeveauk knows a lot about organizational transparency. Michelle Houlihan, the chief executive officer for the Red Cross Alaska chapter, said that Jeff "grew up in Point Hope (a village that observes Inupiat traditions) and was recently named CEO to Arctic Slope Regional Corporation (ASRC)." This company is committed to preserving the Inupiat culture as it explores energy resources of the land.
Kinneeveauk recalled that he was first drawn to service in the Red Cross in Alaska when he attended the Red Cross' Annual Real Heroes Breakfast. An older gentleman had gone out hunting and had become lost. A rescue party found and saved him. Kinneeveauk stated that the testimony was very poignant and powerful, and the rescue party consisted of young, but conscientious, teenagers. "At that point, I knew. I like to serve the community ..., I like to serve others, and I want to be a part of the Red Cross organization," he said.
Houlihan also mentioned the phenomenal assistance that Kinneeveauk gives to the Alaska chapter. His planning to make sure resources are there to assist with disasters (floods, wildfires, etc.) is very much appreciated. But, he is also a fantastic fundraiser; at this year's Mayor's Charity Ball, he donated a spot on a whaling expedition. It went for $7000 dollars! The Red Cross was one of the beneficiaries of his donation, and the Red Cross local chapter gives its sincere thanks for his benevolence. Kinneeveauk stated that usually a whaling team is assembled by familial connection. It is quite an honor when a family hosts a guest on its whaling expedition.
Kinneeveauk summed it up, "It is good to serve with the American Red Cross, and it is good to help another."