Mission Moment: When volunteering comes full circle

By Shubhangi Mittal, Red Cross LA Volunteer 

The Red Cross is committed to helping people prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters large and small. Our work saves livesoften on a daily basis. And while we carry out our lifesaving mission, we sometimes experience what we call a Mission Moment, moment of feeling proud to be a Red Crosser. A Mission Moment is an interaction that validates all the hard work and makes it all feel worthwhile. 

Red Crosser Laura Granados experienced her Mission Moment while working alongside her son Max at one of the 60 sites where Los Angeles Unified School District staff and Red Cross volunteers have been distributing food to students and families in need. 

“I know you,” a woman said in Spanish as Laura handed her food at the walk-up window at Thomas Alva Edison Middle School. “You came to my house.” 

At first baffled, Laura soon realized why the woman recognized her. Several months ago, she installed a free smoke alarm in this woman’s house, as part of the Sound the Alarm campaign. This woman had a “look of amazement, of astonishment” on her face when she realized Laura had helped her not once, but twice. 

How We Help 

Communities across the country count on the Red Cross for help every day – and supporting those communities is at the heart of what we do. Our work never stops, even during this coronavirus crisis, and we remain focused on delivering our lifesaving mission each day.  

More than 70 percent of Los Angeles Unified School District students qualify for free or reduced lunch before schools closed due to the virus. The need could not be greater. 

Even before volunteering at the food distribution site, Laura was committed to the Red Cross and to service. She and her son Max are both members of AmeriCorps, a program that engages members in public service work. You could say volunteering is in her blood; her family has been volunteering for the Red Cross for four generations. Before her, Laura’s mother and grandmother were active Red Cross members in the East LA community.  

Every morning when Laura drives to go to her shift as a volunteer, she is reminded of her life’s purpose – to help others and make a difference in the world. She likes to be actively involved on the front lines, educating and serving her community.  

This was Laura’s first Mission Moment, but likely not her last. She is simply grateful to have been of service.  

It was just nice to see it come full circle with someone I’ve helped, she said.  

If you are interested in volunteering to distribute food to communities in need, go to RedCross.org/la-covid for more information and to sign up for a shift near you. 

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