By Matthew Jervis, American Red Cross volunteer
As a busy college student, I understand that time is a precious resource. That is why I was incredibly impressed to hear that our January Volunteer of the Month - Himne Drees - has volunteered over 300 hours in the past month! The American Red Cross of San Diego/Imperial Counties would like to thank Himne for her almost 10 years of service and dedication to the Red Cross mission.
Himne is the Volunteer Connection Lead for San Diego, which means she helps with tech support, training and many other logistical responsibilities behind the Volunteer Connection platform. It takes a lot of work behind the scenes to manage the extensive volunteer network at the Red Cross, and Himne’s unwavering dedication keeps the Volunteer Services department organized and keeps volunteers informed. She is also a part of the Disaster Services Sheltering Team, as well as the local Development team where she helps with fundraising and special events.
Himne first got started with the Red Cross when she and her husband had some free time during a transition in their careers. After seeing the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina, they discussed volunteering. Himne believes that the Red Cross was the obvious choice because of its commitment to help not some, but all people.
“To me volunteering is an opportunity to do something meaningful without expecting something in return, which is one of the ways I like expressing gratitude. Still, volunteering is inevitably a very rewarding experience, knowing you're making a positive difference in someone's day,” says Himne. “My fellow Red Crossers are like-minded people. We laugh together, we work together and we get things done!”
Himne added that she is grateful to be a part of “an exceptional family of individuals” at the Red Cross. She recommends volunteering because it provides the opportunity to be a part of inspiring acts of kindness. For those who may not have time to volunteer, Himne suggests donating blood – an act that supports the Red Cross mission and gives the gift of life to patients in need.
Ever the Red Cross enthusiast, Himne also encourages others to get involved by utilizing the emergency preparedness resources offered by the Red Cross. Taking steps such as ensuring there are working smoke alarms in the home, having an emergency kit and putting a family evacuation plan in place are a few simple steps that can help people be more prepared for disasters. Resources like the Red Cross Emergency App, FEMA App and others can help individuals stay informed during emergencies. Red Cross CPR/First Aid/AED training is also available and can equip people to save a life.
To join Himne and thousands of other dedicated volunteers, visit redcross.org/volunteer. For more information on emergency preparedness resources, visit PrepareSanDiego.org.