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Why I Help: Board Member Chris Carlton

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“The volunteers are truly an amazing group of people." Chris Carlton

Chris Carlton has been an active board member at the Silicon Valley Chapter for the past five years, but few know that her Red Cross story began with her son Evan.

In March 2009, 17-year-old Evan helped save the life of an elderly man who had collapsed at a train station. Evan, a CPR-certified lifeguard, worked with another man to perform chest compressions and rescue breaths until the paramedics arrived. The man was taken to the hospital with signs of heart failure.

Once the man was in the care of the paramedics, Evan took the train home and told his parents about the experience.

“I don’t ever want either of you to be in a situation where you are not able to help someone,” Evan said to them.

That sentence prompted Chris and her husband, Jeff, to become CPR-certified.

Evan was honored as a lifesaving hero at the Silicon Valley Chapter Heroes Breakfast, which prompted Chris to get involved with the Red Cross Chapter. She has been actively involved with the Prepare Silicon Valley Initiative, where she uses her 35 years of corporate experience to incorporate preparedness trainings into work environments.

“Silicon Valley is really important to the worldwide economy in terms of technology,” Chris said. “I think it is important for corporations to be prepared so they don’t get in the way of progress.”

Pilar Furlong, Interim Chief Executive Officer of the Silicon Valley Chapter said that Chris is always willing to lend a hand.

“Chris is an all around phenomenal volunteer for the American Red Cross,” Pilar said. “She does it all with a smile and manner that inspires others to follow her lead.”

Chris has been a board member with the Chapter since 2010. She said of her experience with the Red Cross workforce:  “The volunteers are truly an amazing group of people. The amount of time, energy, and commitment they spend supporting the community is absolutely inspiring.”

Chris is also a member of the Chapter's Tiffany’s Circle, through which she donates at least $10,000 annually. She says she enjoys being with a great group of women who are passionate about the mission of the Red Cross. She is one of eight women who will travel to London in February 2014 for an International Tiffany’s Circle Event sponsored by the Red Cross in England. 


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