Juan5.jpgA pre-planned visit to see family and friends in Puerto Rico in 2017 put me on the island in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

There was so much work to be done and so many people to help. I needed to find an organization that would allow me to contribute to the recovery of a place I love.

I regularly participate in charitable events in my home town of Kennewick, WA, but in that moment, I felt a calling for a more constant and steady opportunity to volunteer. I picked the Red Cross and I’m so glad that I did.

Juan SilvaThe joy that came from being able to lend a hand with the immediate disaster response, seeing how the Red Cross went above and beyond to help the people of Puerto Rico, continues to this day. The people I have met and the bonds of friendship I have made as a volunteer are simply incredible. I have a whole new family of real heroes, the people I look up to and strive for their level of humanitarian service, expertise and compassion.

While in Puerto Rico, I helped with disaster response, family reunification and disaster assessment. Today I am an active volunteer, looking to start new projects and make a difference at a local level.

I already considered myself a very compassionate person. Now as a Red Cross volunteer, I have tools to better assist and help out other people. I do it from my heart.

Juan3I hope I never have to respond to a disaster again, but will assist in a heart-beat, in any way I can, if and when the need arises. I feel happy, filled with joy and a sense of accomplishment at the end of a day of volunteering, and that’s great! I see it as reward.

The Red Cross has put resources at hands-reach for me, and for many volunteers who seek to help the less fortunate at time of crisis. Red Cross volunteers are people who have the desire to help. I think we all take a little sense of accomplishment home with us at the end of the day.

Join the American Red Cross as a volunteer. Click HERE to apply.



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