Story and Photos by Juanita P. Casanova, Red Cross Contributor
Fernando Fernandez knows first-hand what a difference a friendly face and a helping hand can make to those in need. “When I was growing up, it was difficult for me, and someone was always there to give me a helping hand. I feel that is so important to pay it forward.”
A retired Merchant Marine from Corpus Christi, Fernando Fernandez has served as a spiritual care volunteer for the American Red Cross Texas Gulf Coast Region for the past 10 years. He has been deployed more than 30 times, assisting in disasters such as Hurricane Harvey and more recently during the California wildfires of November 2018. His most recent volunteer experience has been to be a part of the Latino Engagement Team where he traveled to Nebraska and was there for a month.
Of his experience with the Red Cross, Fernando says, “I am so blessed to be able to use my Spanish language skills in order to better serve our Hispanic community. I am able to assist and speak to clients in their home language and help ease the communication gap. It gives me a sense of satisfaction to be able to contribute in assisting with the language barrier and address our diverse populations. Everyone has a gift they can utilize as a volunteer; you just need to want to help out, and you will find that your talent can always be used and welcomed as an American Red Cross Volunteer.”
If you are interested in your unique gifts to pay it forward as a volunteer, visit: https://www.redcross.org/local/texas/gulf-coast/volunteer.html