The sun was setting over the Bakersfield skyline as guests started to arrive at the airplane hangar for the annual Kern County Real Heroes event. It was the perfect celebration to end a day full of wonderful volunteer services throughout the Central California Region. The 1940’s big band music was playing, drinks were flowing, and the party goers were anxiously bidding on silent auction items.
Lisa Laine stood at the event entrance to greet guests with her Board Member pin proudly displayed on her evening’s attire. As a Red Cross board member representing Chevron and a volunteer, Lisa and her colleagues have spent the last several months helping plan and organize the evening’s event.
Fundraising volunteers like Lisa play a crucial role in securing resources for Red Cross services like disaster relief and preparedness education. Sometimes that means assisting with event logistics like securing sponsors, collecting donated silent auction items, or helping with venue logistics. Other times it simply means representing the Red Cross in their community or educating local businesses on how their contributions can help make their town safer and more resilient.
“This event, although coordinated by the American Red Cross, is an excellent example of local businesses in Kern County working together to give back to the communities in which we live and operate,” said Lisa, “I’ve enjoyed talking about this event with local businesses and members of Chevron’s leadership team in effort to gain their support through volunteering or financial commitments. The Real Heroes Event represents a significant portion of the Kern County Chapter’s fundraising efforts which are given back to the members of the community in need.”
The airplane hangar was full now – a sold out event! Lisa began to make to her rounds, greeting guests and thanking donors who had contributed to the evening’s festivities.
“The best aspect of volunteering is the opportunity to partner with people from different parts of the world with different experiences, all sharing a common value – humanitarianism,” said Lisa, “The ultimate goal is to prevent human suffering; however when emergencies do happen, the power of people pulling together to alleviate human suffering is truly remarkable.”
The music came to a stop. Lisa wrapped up her conversation and found her seat; the ceremony was about to begin.
Fundraising volunteers like Lisa Laine are part of the more than 90% volunteer workforce that provides humanitarian services in the Central California Region. The Red Cross thanks and honors these selfless and compassionate every day heroes during National Volunteer Week, April 12-18.
As the evening’s festivities came to a close, Red Cross volunteers stood ready for what the next day may bring. 24 hours a day, seven day a week, volunteers are providing hope and comfort to people in need throughout Central California.