Valentine’s Day, like any day, provides a great opportunity to begin volunteering with a special someone through the American Red Cross
Volunteering can provide a meaningful perspective, while positively impacting the lives of those who are affected by emergencies. Many volunteers say that giving back increases their overall life satisfaction. Plus, volunteering can reinforce the values you and your Valentine share while creating new memories together.
There are plenty of volunteer opportunities with the Red Cross. Whether you volunteer as a health care professional providing care to those who just experienced a disaster or volunteering your IT capabilities and knowledge to ensure that a Red Cross disaster response can function during a disaster. The Red Cross provides a myriad of volunteer opportunities.
The vital work of the American Red Cross is made possible by our volunteers who contribute their unique backgrounds, talents and skill levels. This Valentine’s Day we’d like to shine the light on some of our volunteers who volunteer with the Red Cross together.
Bill and Marjie Day
Bill and Marjie Day have volunteered with the Red Cross for five year and are members of the San Antonio Chapter. Bill and Marjie have been deployed to several responses within the region and outside of the state, including the California Fire response in 2015, which was their first deployment as Emergency Response Vehicle drivers. As a couple they have been volunteering with the Peace Corps since the late-1960’s.
When asked why they volunteer, Marjie Day said, “It’s an opportunity to give back. We know how fortunate we are. We often get more back than we give. The Red Cross allows us to help other during their bad times.”
“Deploying together allows us to share the experience and support each other.”
Darren Murphy and Paul Gamez
Volunteers Darren Murphy and Paul Gamez met 10 years ago and throughout the years their friendship grew into an engagement. A man of many talents, Darren Murphy volunteers as a Disaster Cycle Services Training Coordinator, Pillowcase Project Coordinator, and Caseworker. Not to be outdone, Paul Gamez volunteers as a Disaster Action Team member and Caseworker.
“Working with families that have lost everything after a home fire and helping them build a successful path to recovery is an experience that we both find very rewarding,” said Darren.
Brennan and Kathy Avants
Red Cross staff member, Brennan Avants and his wife are members of the Hill Country Chapter and have been married for 18 years.
Brennan is the Disaster Program Manager for the chapter, while Kathy volunteers with the Public Affairs team.
“We work to help people in need,” said Brennan.
Cyndi, Nastassia, Camille and Ariella Dahl
Cyndi Dahl, Executive Director for the Red Cross serving the Heart of Texas brings not just one generation of Dahl volunteerism to the table, but three, with one “in-training.” Believing in the Red Cross mission is a family affair for Cyndi and her daughters, Nastassia and Camille; along with her granddaughter Ariella, future volunteer.
“My daughters and I work/volunteer for the American Red Cross because we believe firmly in the Red Cross mission and feel strongly about giving back to our community,” said Cyndy. “Whether deploying across the country or in our own community, the Red Cross gives us the opportunity to touch the lives of the people around us and across the world in a positive way. I can’t think of a better legacy to leave for my children and grandchildren than a love for volunteering and saving lives.”
Libby and Yolanda Castillo
Since joining the Red Cross as a staff member within the Public Affairs team more than two years ago, Libby Castillo quickly recruited her mom, Yolando Castillo (and favorite Valentine) as a Red Cross volunteer for the San Antonio Chapter. Yolanda volunteers for the Services to the Armed Forces Department. Besides volunteering in the respective fields of service, the two also enjoy spending time together representing the Red Cross at events like the MLK March, community event and parades.
“After mom retired from her second career, I wanted to see her more often so I asked her to become a volunteer. It always fills me with so much joy when I see how proud she is of the work she does here with the Red Cross.”
John and Diann McKee
Members of the Permian Basin Chapter since 2015 both, John and Diann McKee, are also Disaster Action Team Captains, responding to home fire emergencies within their community.
“We were encouraged to join the Red Cross by our friend Kevin McCoy who could talk an Eskimo into buying some ice,” said Diann McKee. “Our main interest is the Disaster Action Team, but John also loves when he cn use the HAM radio while volunteering!”