By George McCrory
It’s National Volunteer Week, and Joe Vich has some advice for anyone thinking about volunteering for the American Red Cross: just do it!
“There is something for everyone in Red Cross. It is so fulfilling to live the mission of the Red Cross,” he said. “I have been very blessed in my career and life. This is a small way that I can give back for those many blessings."
Vich, a retired banking executive from Waterloo, Iowa, was recently promoted to Assistant Director in Operations Management in Eastern Iowa.
When Vich started his latest Red Cross journey eight years ago, all he wanted to do was be on a local Disaster Action Team and drive an Emergency Response Vehicle, both rewarding jobs. But he later took on several leadership roles in Operations Management, which is responsible for the delivery of services to clients to meet their immediate disaster-caused needs. Vich has been a Covid Safety Officer, Deputy Associate Director- Response, Associate Director - Operations, and a Job Director; each role was unique yet provided a fulfilling experience for him.
Vich has a great team to support his volunteer journey, working with many amazing Red Crossers who “mentored me, coached me, taught me, gave me a chance and forgave my many mistakes.”
He has been fortunate to deploy on approximately 25 regional and national Disaster Relief Operations.
“They are all unique experiences with a common mission to help clients during the worst days of their lives,” Vich explained. “They are all very rewarding, and I've met a lot of great Red Crossers throughout the country.”
Vich’s next goal is to help others grow into leadership roles in the Red Cross.
“Many years ago, I discovered that the one of the best things you can do as a leader is help others succeed. I'm on that mission now and look forward to being successful with your help in the effort,” he said.
To learn more about volunteering with the Red Cross, visit redcross.org/volunteer.