It was Cindy Huge’s birthday and she was looking forward to a relaxing day.
“Today is my birthday and I am going to sit with my feet up and read a book!” she posted on Facebook.
But as most Red Crossers know, a large disaster can change plans in an instant.
Her phone rang. It was dispatch requesting Red Cross assistance to a multi-family fire in Bakersfield. As both a Disaster Action Team Lead and Public Affairs volunteer, Cindy knew she had to respond – that book could wait. Within 5 minutes she was in the car and on her way.
“We quickly determined that this was going to be one long and busy day,” said Cindy, “Media was present, as they often are at large fires, along with many bystanders and of course the 30 clients.”
As the reporters and TV cameras arrived on scene, Cindy approached them and introduced herself. She assured the media that she would be available for interviews and thanked them for being present as well as respecting the clients’ privacy.
From last year’s Oso mudslide to Mississippi tornadoes and everything in between, Cindy has represented Red Cross Public Affairs for communities across Kern County and across the nation. But even when skies are blue, the Public Affairs team is still in action promoting events, blogging, taking pictures, or managing social media.
“There are so many little random acts of kindness you can do daily,” said Cindy, “and I encourage everyone to become engaged… you will be amazed at the number of wonderful people you will meet.”
Cindy continued to support the DAT response, coordinate with other Public Information Officers, and conduct media interviews. She assured the general public that the Red Cross was providing hope and comfort to the affected residents.
It was clear that her birthday plans had changed, but like so many other Red Cross volunteers, Cindy felt the need to support her community in times of disaster despite the personal sacrifice it meant.
Cindy Huge is part of the more than 90% volunteer workforce that provides humanitarian service 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. Click here to learn more about the “Day in the Life of a Volunteer” series.
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