By Noreen Walton, American Red Cross volunteer
In April 2020, the former San Diego Region and the Desert to the Sea Region came together as the new Southern California Region, serving San Diego, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Imperial Counties. Bringing two regions together as one was a complex process involving countless people. Jose Ochoa, August 2020 Volunteer of the Month for Orange County, has played a critical role in this process, working tirelessly to support the Volunteer Connection realignment – a large component of bringing two regions together.
Jose’s technical expertise has been immensely helpful as the two former regions worked to realign titles, positions and data in Volunteer Connection, a system that helps manage the profiles of thousands of volunteers that make the Red Cross mission possible. Jose brings a lifetime of technology expertise to his work on the Realignment Project. “My dad is a programmer, so I’ve been around computers all my life,” he explains. “I learned programming in college and I’ve always been a good troubleshooter.”
Bringing the Volunteer Connection accounts for two former regions into one new account was a large undertaking. “Sometimes it took a bit of wrangling to make sure every department provided responses to our questions. But in the end, it was worth it. I believe we’ve established a seamless connection for the new Southern California Region.”
Jose, based in Orange County, credits his colleagues - especially San Diego-based volunteer Himne Drees - for making this seamless connection possible. “Volunteer Services has helped us all along this process. We couldn’t do it without them,” says Jose.
Having met the objectives for the Volunteer Connection realignment, Jose continues to support the Realignment Project Lead, contributing his ideas and time to designing systems and implementing solutions that support the Red Cross mission. Jose offers this advice for current and prospective Red Cross volunteers: “Ask yourself what kind of work you are interested in and how much time you can give. And always be willing to take on new assignments.”
To learn more about becoming a Red Cross volunteer, visit redcross.org/volunteer.