American Red Cross honors dedication of its volunteers
RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - March is American Red Cross Month, where the nonprofit recognizes and honors its volunteers who choose to give back to others locally and across the world every single day.
“Volunteers don’t just contribute to who we are, they are what we are.”
Danel Lipparelli has been serving as an American Red Cross volunteer for more than 15 years. It all started after she and her husband were evacuated to a red cross shelter in Florida due to a hurricane disrupting their cruise trip.
“We’re helping people that this is the worst day of their lives, they have lost everything, and we’re going to give them a place they feel safe to sleep in and make sure they have food, and then we bring in all the other support, like mental health,” Lipparelli said.
She’s been deployed to work at some of the country’s most devastating events, like the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina, Harvey in Houston, and Maria in Puerto Rico, as well as the Camp Fire, the Harvest Music Festival mass shooting in Vegas, and most recently the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lipparelli added, “I could tell you stories for hours about some of the people that I’ve met and how our relationship grew.”
“There are thousands of lives that Danel has touched in those 15 years,” Mary Powell, Executive Director of the Red Cross of Northern Nevada said.
Powell says the organization would be nothing without the dedication and love its volunteers, including Lipparelli, provide.
“I love that she’s in our community, I love that she is a humanitarian, and someone that shows that people are good in times that seem really divided,” Powell said.
Specializing in disaster mental health support for those in need, Lipparelli leads those efforts every day for free across 11 states from Nevada to Louisiana.
“I do this because I like to help people, but I keep doing this because of what it gives back to me.”
Disasters are bound to happen, but families and individuals can have a sense of peace knowing they won’t ever have to face those emergencies alone, thanks to the American Red Cross.
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