Since 2003, August 19 has been designated by the United Nations to pay respect to all humanitarians across the globe, whose gallantry and selflessness deliver aid, security, and hope to those who are vulnerable or endangered. The featured stories of the humanitarian leaders of the American Red Cross are the pinnacle of World Humanitarian Day. Jose Alejandro Mariscal for over 17 years and is a true example of what a humanitarian is.
“I’m fortunate to have a good life, it’s not enough to keep it all to myself, I have to give back,” said Jose Alejandro Mariscal.
Jose expresses the amazing feeling that he gets when someone smiles and says thank you, and that gives him purpose to keep helping.
Mariscal was raised in Mexico but spent his high school years in Phoenix, Arizona, he then moved to Houston, Texas in 2012 where he has lived since.
During his time in Mexico, Mariscal watched his grandfather, a chief executive of a local chapter, in his Red Cross uniform, leading emergency responders during times of disaster and coordinating with 911. From a young age, Mariscal was drawn to his grandfather’s leadership that built a family of compassionate volunteers within the local chapter, which inspired his involvement in the youth programs of the Mexican Red Cross.
“We would pay visits to the chapter, and respond to ambulance alerts, we learned by observing their rescue missions,” said Mariscal.
As a teenager in high school, Mariscal found an opportunity to a revisit the Red Cross movement, which granted him an academic scholarship. His ability to teach in both English and Spanish qualified him to be an instructor of the Grand Canyon Chapter in Phoenix, Arizona, where he landed his first employment.
“It started because I needed a scholarship, but I stayed because it became a way of life- it’s a family and a way to become a better person.” said Mariscal.
After dedicating his humanitarian services to the American Red Cross for approximately 18 years, Mariscal had become an empirical teacher of the Health and Education department. He is also an AP- authorized provider with a First Aid Certification, he is a certified CPR instructor and teaches First Aid. He is also one of the respondents on the Disaster Action Team and Sheltering Services where he commits to the duties of the relief management of floods and hurricanes while ensconcing evacuees that have lost their homes. Mariscal is also a member of the Services to Armed Forces and the Mass Care team and a driver of the Texas Gulf Coast Region.
“I am proud to be part of this family- it’s not an institution, it’s not just a place to volunteer, it’s a family, where people make a difference, respond to fires, become social workers, provide economic relief, and inter-shelter evacuees. We care for the families that lose their homes to a fires and hurricanes, and we offer our support,” said Mariscal.
His compassion towards people in need and noble efforts have given back to communities and taught volunteers to become the leaders that drive the humanitarian forces of American Red Cross.