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American Red Cross regional volunteer of the month: June Maeva

June Maeva with another Red Cross volunteer
Source: American Red Cross media release

San Diego, CALIFORNIA — The American Red Cross recently held a Volunteer Appreciation Night at Petco Park in San Diego, CA. Over 150 volunteers attended and more than 20 regional volunteers were presented awards. Volunteers make up 90% of the American Red Cross workforce and "we truly could not exist without you."

For the month of June, the American Red Cross Regional Volunteer of the Month award went to June Maeva of American Samoa.

June is responsible for American Samoa's Hands-Only CPR program in schools, businesses, government offices, the Boy Scouts, and church organizations. She personally has educated nearly 200 individuals in this lifesaving technique.

 According to the American Red Cross American Samoa, June is an indispensable "do everything" volunteer. She represented the American Red Cross on the American Samoa First Lady's Book Drive Committee, where she assisted the program by sorting and distributing donated books across the territory.

 "June shows commitment to the mission and love for her community."

Recognizing June's work coincides with Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.

In an initial interview with the American Red Cross, June explained how and why she got involved with the Red Cross.

"During the aftermath of a 2009 tsunami, my children and I were here in American Samoa. There we helped my uncle, who works with the American Red Cross, clean up some of the damage and debris in the village of Leone. I had always wanted to be a part of the organization, but was too busy and worked full-time as a teacher. In February 2018, I registered to volunteer with the American Red Cross- American Samoa chapter."

When asked what giving back means to her, June responded, "The act of service gives me peace. It gives me a sense of purpose and gratitude. The American Red Cross allows me to continue teaching, to be a part of the action in solution, prevention, and planning."

June told the American Red Cross that her most memorable moment with the Red Cross was two days before Tropical Storm Gita in 2018. "I was called to respond to a flood on the far east end of the island. We arrived to help a family of 10 receive aid and assistance. When we got in the house, we saw three children, ages 18 months to three years old, who were sitting on the kitchen table to avoid the 14 inches of rain water that flooded their home. I’ll never forget the look on their mother’s face when they received help and relief. Hugging her gave me comfort that I am where I am supposed to be."

Some local volunteers of Red Cross. According to the American Red Cross,  Volunteers make up 90% of the its workforce. [photo: Red Cross]