Thursday, April 14, 2016

National Volunteer Week 2016

Greater New York

By Stan Frank, American Red Cross 


In honor of National Volunteer Week, we will be highlighting some of the award winners from our recent volunteer recognition events in Long Island, Metro New York North, and New York City. Today we look two of our New York City  winners, Oonagh Turitto, and Nancy Soto.

Nancy Soto – Leadership Award 

Nancy Soto and NY Red Cross CEO Josh Lockwood

What first motivated you to become a Red Cross Volunteer?  

Nancy Soto: I wanted to do something constructive for my community and have the feeling that I was making a difference to someone.

What volunteer activities do you find most satisfying?  

NS: Doing [disaster] response in the field, not only to assist those affected with housing or meals but to show them someone is there to support them, even if only with a hug or to listen to them.  This is the most rewarding feeling.

What are some of the activities you are currently working on?  

NS: As one of the Response Managers, we are always training new volunteers to respond to fires and other events.  I am also part of the Logistics/Training/Disaster Assessment teams.

What would you say to someone who is thinking of becoming a Red Cross Volunteer?  

NS: You meet the most interesting people in the world, and you get the ability to serve and learn to protect yourself and others at all times.


Oonagh Turitto - Clara Barton Award 

Oonagh Turitto and her Clara Barton Award

What first motivated you to become a Red Cross Volunteer?  

Oonagh Turitto: When I joined in 2008 my younger brother was currently an active volunteer while serving in the USAF, and I had been very interested in joining.  Changes in my life gave me the time to join and become an active volunteer.

What volunteer activities do you find most satisfying?  

OT: Being a member of the PRO Team (Progressive Response Oncall Team) gives me the opportunity to help those in need as well as mentor fellow teammates.  I find that helping to give another volunteer a positive experience while helping those affected by disaster is extremely satisfying.

What are some of the major activities you are currently working on? 

OT: I am involved in the Ops Lead for the NYRR marathon Post Finish Medical Support team.  We are now in marathon season and have races to support in May, June, September, and the full marathon in November.  As OPS Lead I am responsible for the teams that work post finish as Medical Spotters.  I am also a member of the Mass Care Leadership Team as the PRO Team Lead and Sheltering.

What would you say to someone who is thinking of becoming a Red Cross Volunteer?  

OT: Here at the Red Cross there is a place and a need for everyone.  You can support the mission working in the Chapter or in the Field.  There are even opportunities that can be done remotely.  So, if you are thinking about it…come talk to someone…join the team and help make a difference! 


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