The American Red Cross New Jersey Region is honoring those who make our mission possible during the 80th annual American Red Cross Month celebration — a national tradition that began in 1943 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued the first Red Cross Month proclamation.
We’re holding volunteer events where we’ll be recognizing the amazing work of many of our volunteers, including the following outstanding volunteers and partners.
Our Pacesetter recipients are listed HERE.
Jim Moran’s volunteer resume during the past six years is self-explanatory – a great asset to Red Cross Disaster Cycle Services (DCS) in New Jersey during both blue and grey skies, as well as during the 16 deployments when he’s helped with disaster responses across the country. However, Jim is receiving this award not only based on all he does, but who he is. Jim is humble, caring, and hardworking in the most genuine of ways. He is easy to talk to, compassionate in all settings, and helps you smile in stressful situations.
Jim has a natural warmth and kindness that permeates all that he does with the Red Cross and in his day-to-day life. He takes naturally to disaster survivors, offering comfort and consideration that exemplifies the best of the organization. Jim is always respectful of the ethnic, cultural, and physical diversity of everyone he meets and works with. He makes people smile, even when they’ve possibly had the worst day of their lives.
Jim attends our Disaster Training Institutes, Disaster Action Team Summits, and takes advantage of other training opportunities to improve his skills. In addition to being volunteer partner to the Central New Jersey Disaster Program Manager, Jim has been promoted to manager level for both the Disaster Action Team and Disaster Services Technology.
In addition to everything Jim does with DCS, he is always there to help setup for events and meetings, make repairs in the buildings, or help with fleet and trailer necessities. Jim has even traveled across the state to help another volunteer with a cell phone issue.
Michelle Esposito personified kindness and genuine compassion for our work and the people we worked with. She was a leader who inspired others to be gentle and warm, rather than harsh or overly bold. She attracted people to work alongside her because she created an atmosphere that engaged, befriended, and elevated people near her. Jim is a wonderful example of a volunteer who embodies the characteristics that made Michelle special. Jim is one of the best representatives of the Red Cross emblem in our community and in our workplace. We are honored to recognize Jim Moran with such a meaningful award.
If you're involved with Disaster Services, you probably know the name Peter Grey. Whether you've taken a class taught by him, been part of a disaster response alongside him, or have had the opportunity to work with him on one of his many special projects, it's almost guaranteed that at some point, you've crossed paths with him. Maybe you've heard our leadership team and Peter's fellow volunteers sing his praises. The point is: Peter is an indispensable volunteer to us here in the Region - as well as to the Division and our National team, which he often supports. In the nine years Peter has been a Red Cross volunteer, he has proven his many talents, capabilities, and dedication to the Red Cross mission; Peter embodies what it means to give selflessly by volunteering. One of our most respected leaders, Peter oversees local disaster response operations as a very capable and credible Job Director. He helped build a robust Planning program in the region and at the Divisional level. Peter has a can-do attitude and sees all projects big and small through to the finish line without flinching. He's collaborative in his work, compassionate in his thoughtful-but-quiet consideration of others, creative in his problem-solving, and committed to being a major part of what makes our New Jersey team so great.
Harald has shown great initiative and enthusiasm during his time volunteering with Operations. He takes on new work seriously and without hesitation. Never failing to get the job done, Harald made the decision to become a Fleet Volunteer in addition to his work with Biomedical Services. Harald’s volunteer experience has since grown to include being a Disaster Action Team member and assisting with Logistics. Harald is extremely generous with the time he gives to the Red Cross, especially as Fleet Coordinator. He gives so much attention to detail with continued interest in day-to-day operations. Harald is a true asset to numerous departments of the American Red Cross.
At least four days a week, you can find Mickey Dillich in the Egg Harbor office volunteering with Volunteer Services (VS) and Disaster Cycle Services (DCS). Mickey began as a Volunteer Connection team member and quickly added the responsibility of handling volunteer intake and was soon promoted to Senior Engagement Specialist Volunteer Partner. Mickey also volunteers with DCS, where she started as a Duty Officer, signing up for numerous shifts each week. She then became a Recovery Case Worker and is now a Disaster Action Team member responding to local disasters. Mickey tackles everything she does with a positive attitude, a smile, genuine kindness, and compassion and often states, “I like to be busy.”
Hyatt Regency Jersey City On The Hudson has been an incredible partner to the American Red Cross in New Jersey for many years. Each September, Americans search for ways to commemorate the events of September 11, 2001 with reverence and service. In that spirit, the Red Cross, together with the Jersey City Department of Public Safety, holds an annual Jersey City Police and Fire 9/11 Memorial Blood Drive. The Hyatt Regency in Jersey City has donated their ballroom for these events for more than nine years. Last year, when the Red Cross experienced its first-ever national blood crisis, the Hyatt Regency didn’t hesitate to step forward with the donation of their ballroom to host the Elvis Duran and the Morning Show Blood Drive, which had more than 100 donors register! Their generosity and willingness to help – especially during a crisis with a quick turnaround – makes them a true supporter of our mission and an outstanding partner to the American Red Cross!
The Middlesex County Office of Emergency Management and Preparedness has proven itself, time and again, to be one of our most valuable and most flexible partners. Our relationship is the definition of a great partnership -- transparent, constructive, and consistent. There have been several challenging disasters in Middlesex County over the past few years, ranging from multi-alarm apartment building fires to the massive flooding caused by Hurricanes Henri and Ida. It is through those challenges that both our relationship with the county OEM and our strength as an organization have grown. Middlesex County OEM gave us the space we needed to use some tough lessons learned to improve service delivery. We are welcome at their monthly County OEM Coordinators’ meeting to report out on the work being done by the Red Cross in the county as well as statewide. This openness has given us the chance to connect meaningfully with their municipalities and has yielded great partnerships with cities like New Brunswick, Perth Amboy, North Brunswick, Dunellen, and Middlesex Boro. These connections led to the Red Cross providing training in Mass Care to their local Community Emergency Response Teams as well as partnering with us on several successful Home Fire Campaign events. Our sincerest thanks go to Bill Johnson, Kelly Garcia, John Ferguson, Michael Zushma, and Eric Martin for this partnership and we look forward to strengthening our relationship even further in the future.
Subaru of America has been part of our Ready 365 giving program since 2016 as a platinum sponsor. They have also generously donated fleet vehicles to many locations throughout the country, helping ensure our volunteers are able to get to those who need our help following disasters. In addition to their generous financial donations, Subaru supports Biomedical Services, Disaster Cycle Services and volunteerism, thanks to the outstanding work of Corporate Responsibility Manager Shira Haaz and her team. Last year, Subaru become the New Jersey Regions first “Ready When the Time Comes” partner, helping us recruit and train at least 16 Subaru employees to be ready to help the Red Cross serve the community as disaster workers with shelter support should disaster strike. Subaru also hosts several blood drives each year, with last year’s drives collecting 113 units of blood, impacting more than 325 lives. We couldn’t be more grateful to the Subaru team for their dynamic partnership. Our thanks go to all the employees of Subaru who have shared our mission and who have supported us throughout the years.