Volunteer Champions Restoring Family Links Program Nationally and Locally

Story by Tiffany Cambridge-Williams, National Headquarters, Program Assistant

I would like to take the time to offer our sincerest thanks and appreciation to Viviana Cristian, our casework and outreach volunteer.  Viviana started with the Restoring Family Links team at National Headquarters back in October 2013 and has been a trailblazer for the program ever since.  Not only is she a headquarters volunteer but she is also a lead volunteer for the Restoring Family Links program and the Disaster Action Team for the Red Cross National Capital Area Region in Silver Spring, MD.  

In November 2013, the Restoring Family Links program experienced one of its largest caseload influxes after Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines.   Viviana’s determination and compassion shown through.  She assisted the Silver Spring office in running a call center to ensure that the separated families were able to get the assistance they needed to reconnect with their loved ones.  With her assistance, we were able to process approximately 800 cases, in which the vast majority of families were reconnected.

Viviana has benefited our program by improving coordination efforts between the local chapter and national headquarters.  She has assisted in planning and carrying out several events for both entities, of particular note:  World Red Cross Day and World Refugee Day.

Viviana worked to coordinate four World Refugee Day events for both the local chapter and national headquarters. In this role she acted as a liaison between the chapter, national headquarters and several refugee resettlement agencies in the local community including the Ethiopian Community Development Council and International Rescue Committee. Thanks to her efforts, all four of the events went off without a hitch and were a huge success. 

Viviana is currently helping both National Headquarters and the Silver Spring chapter plan the upcoming World Red Cross Day on May 8, 2015. In the past, her involvement with the event has been a crucial aspect of its success. For this year’s event, she has already been a huge help in meeting with representatives from the chapter and headquarters to arrange the logistics and begin plans for an excellent celebration highlighting the global impact of the American Red Cross. 

Viviana’s hard work and dedication has also aided us in building our outreach efforts and making the processing of casework more efficient.  She is always looking for ways to assist and get involved in all aspects of the program.  In April of this year, she became a Restoring Family Links instructor out of a desire to increase the Restoring Family Links service delivery capacity in her chapter.

We are lucky to have such a passionate, personable and committed volunteer.  Viviana has shown time and again that she is devoted not only to the Restoring Family Links program but to the American Red Cross as a whole.