by Jennifer Astion
Patricia Friedman is a visual storyteller who has a deep desire to help people through her volunteer work with the Red Cross. She had just completed her Disaster Action Team training when the pandemic transformed in-person volunteering into virtual. “I’m a night owl so I was ready to respond in the middle of the night,” Patricia said, “Then everything changed.” With extra time at home, she did additional Red Cross training in communications and found her niche. “I was hooked,” she said.
Patricia’s first deployment came during the California wildfires in the summer of 2020. The Red Cross Communications Team was working 24/7 to respond to the volatile conditions on the ground as well as circulate PR about new pandemic protocols including remote hotel shelters and food vouchers. This virtual deployment became an opportunity to work with a team not just in California but around the country. “I was able to connect with volunteers and clients to tell their stories on social media. There is so much to communicate with that level of crisis. I really felt needed,” she said.
“I love working with the Red Cross who are there to help at any given moment,” Patricia explained. As a media producer, she hopes to bring creative ideas to the Comms Team. “I would love to expand our outreach to young people and inspire new volunteers with visual storytelling. I see a lot of opportunity to reach a new generation of Red Cross volunteers.”