National Volunteer Week is April 12-18 and the Hawaii Red Cross honored some of its volunteers who have committed selfless amounts of time and energy to helping people in need at an annual Heroes Breakfast on Saturday, April 11 at the Waikiki Marriott.
The 2015 Red Cross Volunteers of the Year are Jan Kealoha (Oahu), Kenneth Cutting (East Hawaii), Phillip Fernandez (West Hawaii), Rebecca King (Maui County), Michele Molineaux (Kauai) and Daniel Suzuki (Animal Hero).
Across the United States, hundreds of thousands of volunteers are part of the Red Cross. They respond to fires, teach lifesaving skills like First Aid and CPR, volunteer at Army Hospitals and so much more. Here in the Hawaii, there are over 1,500 Red Cross volunteers helping the community.
“We want to take this time during Volunteer Week to thank our volunteers for their service and dedication,” said Coralie Chun Matayoshi, CEO of the Hawaii Red Cross. “They help us fulfill our lifesaving mission every day, and we are overwhelmed with gratitude for their service.”
Last year, the Hawaii Red Cross volunteers provided food, shelter, comfort and hope to 152 local families (469 individuals) who faced emergency situations. They served 5,731 meals and snacks to victims of disasters and emergency workers in the field, housed 2,616 people during times of evacuation and presented disaster preparedness information to 22,001 people. They trained 13,222 people in lifesaving skills and provided 12,672 services to military members, veterans and their families.
The Hawaii Red Cross is inviting community members to join the Red Cross Ohana. There are many ways people can get involved. Go to redcross.org/hawaii to learn more about volunteer opportunities and to submit a volunteer application.
The Red Cross Home Fire Preparedness Campaign offers another way to volunteer and help reduce the number of home fire injuries and deaths in the area. Hawaii volunteers are teaming up with local partner organizations and local Fire Departments to install free smoke alarms for those in need and to teach residents about home fire safety. So far, volunteers have helped to install 320 smoke alarms in 79 homes.