LOS ANGELES, Feb. 26, 2022 — Today, volunteers, who make up 90% of the American Red Cross’ workforce, were honored at the annual Volunteer Excellence Awards in Los Angeles. Demonstrating their distinguished service and dedication to the Red Cross mission, these volunteers selflessly donated more than 200,000 hours in 2021 to address the needs of those reeling from record-breaking disasters.
SEE: 2022 Volunteer Excellence Awards live feed (YouTube)
ALSO SEE: Photos of the 2022 Volunteer Excellence Awards Honorees (Flickr)
The eight award winners, along with the nearly 8,000 volunteers in the LA Region, received praise and gratitude during the Olympic-themed awards program for their enduring commitment during a challenging year. In 2021, Red Cross LA Volunteers not only responded to disasters in this county, they also repeatedly deployed to Northern California in response to the second largest wildfire in the state’s history and other states, such as Kentucky, which is still reeling from the devastation holiday tornadoes.
“The work of our volunteers is one of our best kept secrets we want exposed. The Red Cross could honestly not be as responsive to disasters or helpful to those in need without the thousands of volunteers, who selflessly give to others,” said Joanne Nowlin, CEO for the Red Cross Los Angeles Region. “We ask so much of our volunteers, and they show up every day to provide relief and recovery.”
Committed to helping all those in need, volunteers deliver emergency support such as disaster relief, lifesaving blood, critical services for military families and veterans, lifesaving skills like CPR, international aid and so much more every day. Become a Red Cross volunteer by applying at redcross.org/volunteer.
Audrey Cussen – Service to the Armed Forces
Audrey is recognized with an award honoring those who make a measurable impact in strengthening or improving services for military members and their families. A dedicated caseworker, she shows up every week, reaching hundreds of people in the military community with compassion, care and kindness.
David Tuckman – Special Citation for Exceptional Volunteer Service
Volunteering for a blood drive 31 years ago marked the beginning of a long, fruitful journey that more than qualifies David for this award. The lifelong humanitarian has built a strong bench of volunteers through his mentoring and last year worked non-stop, setting a new standard for inclusive service delivery.
Giustina Cipriani – Clara Barton Honor Award for Meritorious Volunteer Leadership
Giustina receives this award that goes to a volunteer who has provided service in multiple leadership positions over several years. Serving as a mass care leader, she brought innovative ideas and insight to improving response operations during the pandemic in such areas as non-congregate sheltering and temporary evacuation points. Mentor and coach, she welcomes new volunteers with an open heart.
John Hawley – Disaster Preparedness & Response
Attention to detail, communication skills, empathy and collaborative spirit are hallmarks of John, a utility disaster volunteer. He deployed multiple times, from working late-night Disaster Action Team calls responding to home fires to supporting L.A. Unified School District feeding efforts. A response manager at a wildfire response offered the highest of praise, rating John “exceptional almost across the board.”
Margaret Hosier – Volunteer Leadership
Margaret tirelessly handled logistics during the COVID-19 rapid response operation, as partnerships with 100-plus community organizations led to the distribution of more than one million masks and sanitizers, along with 60,000 preparedness bags. She impeccably maintained tracking records for donations and distributions to diverse, underserved communities.
Mary Douglas – Biomedical Achievement
Over a four-year period, Mary contributed more than 1,500 volunteer hours as a blood donor ambassador in Biomedical Services. She always serves with a smile, ready to help and makes donors feel welcome and comfortable. Additionally, she trained new volunteers, thus helping to expand the team.
Mystie Ng – Outstanding Youth
Mystie, though new to the youth executive board, became president and demonstrated leadership by mobilizing volunteers from various schools to provide opportunities in the Youth Corps. Her commitment continued as she remained as youth advisor after graduating from school. She became an intern in the communications department, engaging a new group of youth communicators.
Sasha Semaan – International Services
Sasha juggled multiple roles, including Youth Action Campaign advocate, in significantly expanding and improving International Services last year. She is innovative, passionate and dedicated, enthusiastically making every training session effective. She embodies collaboration and volunteer spirit.