Every day, 11,000 Red Cross people volunteering their time help us respond to disasters, settle new Kiwis, help run our shops, deliver Meals on Wheels, teach former refugees how to drive, sew curtains for families in need, among many other things. 

In such a challenging year, our members have been the hands and feet of everything we have been able to do in our communities.

So, thank you - we are hugely grateful.

Carma Anderson

Disaster Welfare and Support Team Leader, Hawke's Bay

As Red Cross disaster response volunteers, we do what we can to provide affected people with practical and emotional support, such as lending them a listening ear, offering to accompany them back to their homes to pick up basic essentials they’ve left, or even just handing out a blanket to keep them warm.

 — Carma, following the support provided to residents of Napier after the November 2020 floods.
Read more about Carma

Ian Baldwin

Refugee Support Volunteer, Dunedin

I would say Red Cross is more likely my life now. Pretty much everything I do these days involves Red Cross. I have no intention of going away from all the friends I have made over the last few years, they have given me a new lease on life after the death of my much loved wife.

 — Ian, reflecting on his role supporting newly arrived former refugee families.
Read more about Ian

Janice and Garry Graham

Meals on Wheels drivers, Tauranga

They are lovely, some are quite old and we have a chat. It’s nice meeting these people, sometimes we’re the only people they see all day.

 — Janice, talking about the people using our Meals on Wheels service.

Chris Hamilton

Red Cross Shop volunteer, Napier

Some people who come in here are often very lonely themselves and they like to have a chat. So, you have a chat with them and give them some of your time, your heart and hopefully make the day a bit easier for them.

 — Chris, talking about why she likes helping out in our Red Cross Shop.
Read more about Chris

Monica Bearsley and Nicky van Praagh

Disaster Welfare and Support Team Leader and Deputy Team Leader, Hamilton

I really appreciated Red Cross’ help. Red Cross volunteers took a risk to look after us. I cannot say thank you enough. They did their very best to support and help us through daily life, as well as taking note of our emotional wellbeing. They’re good-natured and warm-hearted, like sunshine in the cold winter days.

 — Lili Gao, a evacuee from Wuhan, China, looked after by Monica and Nicky while in quarantine.

Jill Spicer

Book Sale Coordinator, Palmerston North

Jill is in charge of New Zealand Red Cross' biggest community fundraising event in Aotearoa - the notorious Palmerston North Book Fair. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the event was cancelled twice. This didn't stop Jill and the amazing branch who set up a temporary pop-up book shop. The team adapted to changes and were determined to raise money to support people in need across New Zealand. 

Ngun Uk Zaathang (Pa Uk)

Open Road Driver Mentor, Nelson

I like teaching people. I can speak their language, which makes it easier.

 — Pa Uk, explaining what he likes about his volunteer role teaching former refugees how to drive.
Read more about Pa Uk

Bonnie Plested

Curtain Bank Coordinator, Hawke's Bay

We’re just doing our very best to keep people, particularly those in need, nice and warm during the winter months,

 — Bonnie, explaining how our Curtain Banks helps people in her community.
Read more about Bonnie

Lakshman Weerasinghe

Refugee Support Volunteer, Hamilton

It’s the challenge I like about this work. Most of them don’t speak English and if I succeed in giving my knowledge to them, show them how things are done in New Zealand, and if they can integrate, then I feel like I have achieved something,

 — Lakshman, sharing why he likes supporting new Kiwis settling in New Zealand.
Read more about Lakshman

Maggie Robins

Disaster Welfare and Support Deputy Team Lead, Invercargill

I was very impressed by the good community support for all these people who had their houses yellow stickered, and also at how people kept their spirit up in some very tough circumstances,

 — Maggie, describing her experience supporting people affected by the Southland floods in February 2020
Read more about Maggie

Vivienne Gillespie

Branch member, Lower Hutt

I enjoyed doing it and it filled in my time and that’s the way I got my enjoyment in life, by helping others. I met some really nice people who have added to my life in various ways.

 — Vivienne, reflecting on her time with Red Cross Lower Hutt Branch, which closed earlier this year.
Read more about Vivienne

Jenny and Dave Pullen

Refugee Support Volunteers, Nelson

We are so grateful for Jenny and Dave. Even though our family is back in Colombia, Jenny and Dave are like our second family

 — Sandri, a former refugee recently settled in Nelson who was supported by Red Cross volunteer Jenny and Dave.
Read more about Jenny and Dave

Jenny Heith

Meals on Wheels driver, Mosgiel

I enjoy the people – I’m a people person. It’s nice when you get to know the recipients. For some of them, they wouldn’t get a decent meal otherwise. But it’s also the contact and you check that they are okay.

 — Jenny, reflecting on the importance of the Meals on Wheels service
Read more about Jenny

Max Badran

Disaster Welfare and Support Team member, Whangarei

As a DWST member, my main role is to provide for the basic needs of people who have been impacted by a crisis. It is not about doing heroic stuff – it is more about providing emotional and psychological support to people who may be experiencing anxiety or distress due unexpected crisis. It comes in the simple form of just being there to make sure that they have food, blankets and clothing. 

 — Max, explaining his role as a disaster response volunteer.

Prianca, Wafa and John

Youth volunteers, Dunedin

 I like YEPP [Youth Emergency Preparedness Programme] because they teach me new things, how I can help other people. For example, there is a lot of things happening in front of us, and many people don’t know what to do, so it’s good to teach us as youth to do these things.

 — Wafa, highlighting the importance of being a trained Red Cross volunteer, even as a young person.