By Noreen Walton, American Red Cross volunteer
Chen Cui, August 2023 Orange County Volunteer of the Month, brings special skills to his work with the American Red Cross. As a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), Chen is currently a student at Cal State Fullerton in the University’s Public Health Program. He sees the Red Cross as a natural extension of his professional studies. “My work is about caring for people, and the Red Cross definitely cares about the people it serves,” Chen explains.
When he joined Red Cross in December 2022, Chen’s first assignment was with the Disaster Action Team (DAT). He soon began learning about the many opportunities available to Red Cross volunteers and shifted his attention and energy to the International Services (IS) and Service to the Armed Forces (SAF) teams. It was a natural fit according to Chen’s supervisors. Noting Chen’s welcoming and resilient spirit, they recognized his positive impact on the IS team. “With Chen’s help, the SoCal International Services department reached the highest metrics in the nation for the second year in a row!”
Chen believes that all Red Cross volunteers have the opportunity to match their skills with a specific Red Cross program. “Our people are great and there are a lot of opportunities. The best thing about the Red Cross is that you can ask to do new things and find your perfect assignment.”
Appreciation is a word that Chen uses often when describing the benefits of volunteering with the Red Cross. “I definitely feel that appreciation. People truly value the mental and emotional help that Red Cross volunteers provide, whether those volunteers are responding to an emergency DAT [Disaster Action Team] call, serving veterans, or helping people impacted by war.”
Chen actively recruits new Red Cross volunteers. His message to them is much like the message he shares with current volunteers. “Step up. Be positive. Stay healthy. Everyone has skills that the Red Cross can use. The Red Cross needs you!”