The spark to help and serve those in need may come into people’s lives at various times for a variety of reasons. For Kelly Morris, a youth volunteer and intern for the American Red Cross of the Bay Area, the spark formed early in her life during her high school career.
Kelly signed up for Granada High School’s Red Cross Club simply as a way to meet new people since she was a new student. However, rather than just reading the emails she received from the club, Kelly faithfully attended meetings and noticed the students of this club were hardworking, passionate, and helpful individuals. Her realization that these students wanted nothing more than the best for everyone motivated her and ignited that spark to dedicate time to service. “This energizing and positive environment inspired me to delve deeper into the Red Cross service,” said Kelly.
In addition to being an active member of her school’s club, she dedicated time to her local Red Cross in several facets. Being an active volunteer in the Youth Services Department, she became the Health and Safety Youth Executive Board Officer, in which she did major outreach to recruit more youth CPR instructors and orchestrated Citizen’s CPR events. Kelly also became a Youth Executive Board Member for Disaster Services and also was an External Relations intern in 2015. Her tasks ranged from note taking and planning meetings to assisting the Disaster Action Team (DAT), where she would assist Red Cross caseworkers with real-time victims of disasters such as house fires.
Kelly’s experience with responding to DAT calls won her heart, as the clients of the disasters she encountered inspired her and showed a type of resilience she had never seen before, especially the mothers. “One thing that really stood out to me on DAT calls was the strength of the moms. It was always the moms who had a strong, calm face on the midst of the aftermath of a house fire. I have so much respect for women who serve as models for others to lean on in times of need, and these moms just do that,” Kelly explained.
Not only were the persistent victims inspirational for Kelly, but all of her fellow Red Cross companions and the passion they have for their disaster relief work has mobilized her to continue her Red Cross experience. “The diversity of people and experiences has opened my eyes to follow to new ways of looking at things,” said Kelly.
Though Kelly feared that her young age would be an obstacle during her experience with the Red Cross, she realized that when it comes to disaster relief, age becomes nothing but a number. The passion and inspiration gained from the disaster relief work is what actually creates a footprint, as reflected from Kelly’s amazing Red Cross experience and dedication, leading her way to a career in disaster relief or global development in the near future.