From P.E. Teacher to Red Cross Volunteer, Varlene Kimura Makes a Difference

By Mason Anthony, Communications Intern

From educating our local middle school youth on how to stay more physically active to giving her valuable time to the Red Cross as a volunteer, Varlene Kimura has a passion for serving her community.

Over the last two years, Kimura has volunteered at multiple Sound the Alarm events where she helps install free smoke alarms and educate residents on home fire safety. She also volunteered at other events including Veterans Day Parades, local community events and she has even spent time in shelters to directly help people who need it.

Sound the Alarm allows me to reflect and be grateful for the things that I have in my life and to not take them for granted. It also makes me grateful to know that there is an organization that is willing to help people to make them safer.”

Varlene Kimura

“My events that have been my favorite so far and that is the Sound the Alarm and for the 144th Fighter Wing Family event [with the Service to the Armed Forces] team. Along with those two events, I volunteered during the Fall Festival in Oakhurst… we help people with home fire safety and things like that” said Kimura.

Kimura chose to be a middle school P.E. teacher as her career path, but things did not always start that way. Originally a buyer for Nordstrom, but after working one holiday season she realized that if she was ever going to complete some of her aspirations that this job was not going to do it.

“I thought to myself, if I ever want to have children, I do not want his kind of lifestyle” said Kimura.

Kimura dedicates her time to making sure that the students that coming up in the world are physically fit so they can have the strength to build their lives. Kimura even adds on being a volleyball coach a girls middle school team.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Kimura was just like the rest of us, sitting at home not knowing what to do but having a drive to do something. She used that drive to call her local Red Cross office and got a response back very quickly. Kimura told them that she wanted to give her time, so the Red Cross welcomed her with open arms.

When Kimura is not teaching our local youth on how to stay physically fit or giving her time to help those around us in need, she loves to frequent CYCLEBAR, which is an indoor cycling class that helps to keep people fit and healthy.

Kimura also enjoys to travels whenever she can fit a place in. Out of all the places, Tokyo is a place that she loves with her whole heart. Her son is currently there teaching now English at a high school in Japan. She even loves to attend smooth jazz concerts to add some extra relaxation into her busy schedule.

Varlene encourages everyone to get involved with the organization. “Do not hesitate to volunteer. Everyone here is so welcoming.”

Since Clara Barton founded the American Red Cross in 1881, women have played an important role in advancing the organization’s programs and services. We’re grateful for female volunteers like Varlene Kimura who carry out our mission and continue the legacy Clara left behind. Join her at

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