Liz Karim is a regional philanthropy officer, committed to raising money to support Red Cross services across Iowa and our Nebraska-Iowa Region. She collaborates with board members and Red Cross staff from various lines of service to create opportunities for financial support. She answered the questions below to shed a little light on her role within our organization.
Q: What does your title mean?
A: In my role, I work with corporate donors across Iowa who are passionate about our Red Cross mission.
Q: How long have you been with the Red Cross?
A: I have been working with the Red Cross for just over a year.
Q: What do you like most about your work?
A: I love that I can make a difference in my community while making a global impact. The Red Cross has no borders when it comes to helping people all across the world. I have family across the world, and I am proud to work for a humanitarian organization that serves all in times of need.
Q: What do you listen to during the day?
A: When I need a 10 minute break from typing up a long proposal my go-to is Tik Tok. I am not proud to say how much of my screen time it takes, but it’s a guilty pleasure for sure. Podcasts are always my go-to too!
Q: What do you do when you aren’t working?
A: When I am not working you can find me at Target, going for a walk or binging reality TV. On the weekends my husband and I love to take short trips to places near us. We are always up for an adventure.
Q: What is your favorite thing about where you live?
A: My favorite thing about living in Iowa is the beautiful nature around us. I love how easily I can hop on the bike path to ride my bike or go on a long walk. I grew up around open land and bike paths, so it was an easy decision to move back to Iowa after living on the East Coast for two years. Des Moines is also growing like crazy. It’s exciting to see all the new restaurants and stores popping up all over.
Q: What has most surprised you while working with the Red Cross?
A: What surprised me most were the many lines of services the Red Cross provides across the country. Prior to working at the Red Cross, I knew it responded to disasters, but did not know about the preparedness work. After learning more about Sound the Alarm and participating in in our signature event, I could see the direct impact in our community. The impact our Sound the Alarm program has on our communities is huge. I was also excited to learn our Sound the Alarm Program started in Iowa!
Q: What is a Red Cross moment that has stuck with you?
A: Earlier on in my Red Cross career, I met a young man at the Kosovo Consulate. He shared with me that his mother was a Red Cross nurse during the Kosovo War, and that’s how his mother and father met. It was very neat to hear his family’s story and how the Red Cross brought them together. It’s a privilege to hear people’s stories on how the Red Cross showed up in their darkest hours to help them or reconnect them to their loved ones.
Q: What do you wish people knew about working for the Red Cross?
A: While we are national organization, our Nebraska-Iowa Region is locally serving our communities through many lines of services. The Red Cross is always responding to local disasters such as home fires. 90% of our workforce is made up of volunteers. We have an amazing group of disaster service volunteers, who are ready to show up and assist families after their homes have been destroyed.