By Xavia Malcolm, American Red Cross in Greater NY
Coordinating community initiatives has always been important to Martin (Marty) Kanengiser.
Before he retired from PepsiCo—Marty worked as a procurement specialist—he was known among his colleagues for his benevolence and efforts to help the company facilitate community outreach events such as blood drives.
After leaving the corporate world, Marty wanted to continue doing meaningful work in the community. However, he was not sure which path to take. Luckily, he had a few chance encounters that pointed him in the direction of the American Red Cross.
“I was looking for an opportunity where I could give back and an experience that was consistent. The Red Cross provided these things and more than I could ever imagine,” he said.
Marty joined the Red Cross in 2019 and has worked in several departments including logistics, disaster response and the Home Fire Campaign, the Red Cross’ fire safety initiative. The flexibility that the Red Cross offers its volunteers is one of the characteristics of the organization Marty values. He also appreciates the support and recognition volunteers receive for their hard work. Earlier this year, in recognition of his leadership, Marty received the Rising Star and Emerging Leader Award during the annual Greater NY Region Volunteer Recognition event.
Although awards are fantastic, Marty believes the best reward is being allowed to do what he loves most, which is helping others and building connections. As a Home Fire Campaign and Sound the Alarm team member, Marty enjoys meeting people and educating them on emergency preparedness. When working as Disaster Action Team (DAT) duty officer, where he helps to coordinate the Red Cross response to local emergencies, he takes immense pride in being part of a team that provides support for neighbors in need during difficult times.
According to Marty joining the Red Cross is one of the best decisions he’s made. As he says, “I am grateful for this experience. The organization has a 360-degree approach to everything that it does. This involves making everyone (staff, volunteers, clients and community partners) feel like they matter.”
Thank you, Marty, for all that you do!
To join the Red Cross as a volunteer, please visit www.redcross.org/gnyvolunteer