By Aleesia Benkey, American Red Cross intern
This Hispanic Heritage Month, we’re highlighting Hispanic and Latina women who play a pivotal role in helping the American Red Cross fulfill its humanitarian mission in local communities every day.
Thank you to the Hispanic and Latino men and women serving their communities and supporting the Red Cross mission.
Regional Volunteer Services Officer – Southern California Region
For ten years, Debbie has supported many Red Cross roles and programs. She has a passion for philanthropy and loves to make a difference in her community. Debbie is a member of both the Latino Engagement Team and VIDA (Voices/Inclusion/Diversity/Advancement) Resource Group, an employee resource group that supports the work being done across the organization as it relates to our Latino workforce and community engagement.
Her Argentinian heritage and family strengthen the work that she does and inspires her to keep going. “Hispanics and Latinos build strong close communities and take care of each other and that is what the Red Cross does and why it feels like home,” said Debbie. “It is the legacy of my mom that influences my work and passion to help others through the Red Cross.” Her bilingual skills help her serve those around her. Debbie is empowered by empowering others and believes giving back is her moral obligation.
Senior Volunteer Recruitment Specialist – San Bernardino County
Since 2018, Juana has played an important role in the Red Cross mission. She is inspired by the work of her volunteers and fellow staff and advocates for the importance of diversity. “There are many reasons why I chose to join such a noble organization, but most of all, I was truly inspired by their mission to alleviate human suffering and make a positive impact on people's lives,” said Juana. “I knew it was a great opportunity for me to contribute my skills, knowledge, and compassion to help those in need, and why not apply to something that I love to do, which is to serve!”
Juana is bilingual and uses her skills to connect and serve local and underserved communities in San Bernardino County. As a member of the Latino Engagement Team, she has fostered a community for Hispanic and Latino Red Crossers to connect. Juana practices selflessness, gratitude, empathy and compassion in all that she does.
Account Manager, Donor Recruitment – San Diego County
When Stephanie was a child, the Red Cross responded when her home caught fire. The support she received has always stuck with her. In January 2022, Stephanie joined the Red Cross as an account manager for donor recruitment in San Diego. Stephanie realizes that there is a large Latino population in San Diego, and her heritage helps her connect authentically with the community. Working in blood donor recruitment, Stephanie strives to increase the number of Hispanic and Latino blood donors and explain the need for donations in their native language and in a culturally impactful way.
For Stephanie, giving back means everything. “It means giving something bigger than myself to those around me, especially those that are in need. There is nothing better than knowing that you have made a positive impact on someone,” said Stephanie.
Executive Coordinator – Southern California Region
Tanya joined the Red Cross a year and a half ago, looking to join an organization that serves her community. “My Latina heritage influences me every day. It is shown through my hard work and dedication towards the Red Cross. Growing up, I was taught to be proud of my work ethic and accomplishments, regardless of how small or big they are,” said Tanya.
She is a member of the Red Cross VIDA (Voices/Inclusion/Diversity/Advancement) Resource Group. VIDA is an employee resource group that highlights and supports the compelling work being done across the organization as it relates to our Latino workforce and community engagement. Tanya’s ability to speak both English and Spanish helps her serve the community and execute the Red Cross mission.