When scanning the list of volunteering jobs that Diana O’Brien has been involved in, one wonders how this avid runner and mother of three manages to balance family obligations and still find time to be a Disaster Action Team member, Cabaret and Cuisine committeeperson, and participate in the annual Run for the Red Marathon. But this Schnecksville resident has managed to find the time to volunteer for the Red Cross since 2011. It was the Red Cross’ international presence that first attracted O’Brien to the organization. Originally from Ecuador, she became aware of the Red Cross’ mission in her home country. When asked what she enjoys most about volunteering, O’Brien admits that there is profound satisfaction in helping people when they are in their greatest time of need.
As a Disaster Action Team member, O’Brien takes pride in being able to provide clients, many whom have lost everything from a house fire, with immediate assistance like food, shelter and clothing. She likes that fact that being a volunteer allows her to see first-hand where the funds are going. O’Brien is also proud of the work the Red Cross does with military families during predeployment events where she and the other volunteers provide essential information to military families. O’Brien’s volunteering doesn’t end there. She also spends time in the office performing data entry and making follow-up phone calls to clients. Spanish is her first language and she is happy to assist with Spanish speaking clients whenever possible. O’Brien says that the Red Cross is, “a great organization to be involved in.”
Remarkably, after discussing all she has done, O’Brien admits that she hopes to do even more in the future. Whether running a marathon or assisting the Disaster Action Team, O’Brien understands the satisfaction received when giving your time to something you are passionate about.