Charlotte Camacho is more than just a dedicated volunteer for the American Red Cross. She also sees herself as a teacher inspiring other volunteers aid others during times of need.
Camacho, a 23-year veteran of the Red Cross, says she is inspired by the organization’s history. She has not only been willing to respond to the needs of others while working in logistics in the warehouse, but has also helped others in the delivery of the organization’s humanitarian mission.
“I love teaching people how to work in a warehouse,” Camacho said. “I teach people how to load and unload. I have been a warehouse manager and supervisor. I have also driven trucks that deliver aid supplies to vulnerable people.”
Originally from Houston, Camacho began her long journey with the American Red Cross while sitting on the board of the northeast office of Houston. She said flooding in her hometown inspired her to take a more active role.
“Robert Bennett was the board director, he was the first person to encourage me to get involved,” she said. “He would always call out to me when he needed volunteers during the floods in Houston.” It was then that I witnessed how many people need help.”.
Having brought relief to the local floods in her hometown, Camacho then responded to fires in the mountains of Colorado; supplied the evacuees in New York with care packages, hygiene products, and food boxes; deployed to the ravaged city of Joplin, Missouri, after a deadly tornado; and spent months in a Puerto Rico warehouse providing for struggling families after Hurricane Maria. Camacho says that she always has a suitcase ready in case of sudden deployment.
“Arriving as soon as you can, starting out, helping people,” said Camacho. “Soon after a disaster happens, bring in supplies, getting more people to come and help – it all ties together.
“Helping people in any way that you can. I believe that whenever something happens, everybody should respond with ‘what can I do to help?’”
Her teaching has inspired numerous volunteers and encouraged them respond to emergencies and prepare for disasters. She added that she sometimes brings her own grandson to help in the warehouse.
“I would be able to look back on my life knowing that I did everything I could to help the wonderful people in this town,” Camacho said. “I’ve traveled to a lot of places. I met a lot of people. What else can you do but help yourself and help your neighbors? That’s why we train, so that we can help each other.”
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, people in the military and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or CruzRojaAmericana.org, or follow us on Twitter at @RedCross.
Story by Veronica Araujo