Well, with less than four months left in my term, I thought I would give you a Latino Community Preparedness program update. Time has flown by and this program has been so well received. I mentioned in my blog back in November, that the Latino program was created to help grow the Red Cross presence in Latino communities. This program is so much more than the growth of our presence, or the growth of bilingual volunteers. This program isn't even really about the Red Cross; it’s about the people we serve.
|Cruz Roja outreach in Chowchilla|
My partnership with the Office of Education was only one of my ways to interact with the Latino communities around the Central Valley. I then began a partnership with the Community Food Bank. I reached out to them so I could reach the communities being affected by the drought, which again was much of the migrant population. No water, no crops, no work, no money to feed their families or to think of emergency preparedness. There are many factors that can cause a family to not be prepared or take the time to take a CPR/First Aid class; many of these families don’t have the money, the time, or even the knowledge that there are programs out there to help them.
|AmeriCorps member Daniel Avina participating in the|
Latino Community Preparedness Program at Kern Public Health
|AmeriCorps member Veronica Lases|
participating in a Spanish radio station interview
My answer came on February 11th when I conducted a presentation to a small group of migrant families in Fowler. As I began to talk about “Making a Plan”, I asked “does everyone here have a smoke detector?” The majority of the families shook their heads, and I gasped. I was not passing judgment, but felt this overwhelming sense of worry. So I received the names of the families that need the smoke detectors, and began to work on a plan to get them alarms.
In one instance we visited a client’s house and were instantly heart broken. They were migrant workers living in a house behind a main home, in between vineyards with no front door and so many possibilities for an emergency. We spoke with the woman and provided her with a smoke detector. When we left, we fully realizing why my program exists.
|Latino Community Preparedness Program during a Mother's Symposium|
If you are a Spanish speaker interested in volunteering with the Latino Community Preparedness program, click here to learn more and apply.
AmeriCorps NPRC 2014-2015
Latino Community Preparedness Coordinator
American Red Cross Central California Region