What is your Red Cross Story?
I grew up with many amazing military members in my family and community, and the Red Cross was there when they deployed and there were births or deaths in our family to connect us in the hardest moments.
I grew up feeling so excited when I was old enough to give blood at a Red Cross Blood Drive, at the Dexter Legion, leaving feeling proud and impactful.
I really grew up when I was introduced to the world of Childhood Cancer when Madeline was diagnosed. I saw the immediate impact of those blood donations time and time again. Every time I see one of our Blood Transportation Volunteers leave our office on Everett Road- I wonder if it is headed to Albany Med to help out one of my Melodies Friends...
I really grew up when my nephew Benson was born with a congenital heart syndrome, HLHS, spending almost all of his days at Golisano Children's Hospital in Rochester, NY. In his short life he was the recipient of many transfusions, they offered him energy, smiles and time. I watched my sister diligently give blood at drives in the hospital and beyond as a way to give back life to others.
While growing up I took a position at the American Red Cross here in the Eastern NY Region- as a staff member to recruit individuals to fill volunteer needs in their communities. I knew after years supporting families and communities that I didn't just need a job- I needed a place to be impactful and a mission I could connect to. The American Red Cross mission statement is to alleviate human suffering through the work of volunteers and the generosity of donors. It is an honor to be a part of that mission.
I have grown to know volunteers that, while I sleep, respond to fires and disasters in their communities, to witness the compassion and comfort a human caring for a human can offer... and it has impacted my daily life and my goals and perspective.