Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Hand Helping Another Hand - Marcos Cabrera

Red Cross volunteers represent a variety of cultures and backgrounds. When they dedicate time to our organization, they bring along with them a unique skill set, forged through their own life experiences.

Louisville Area Chapter Board Chair Dick Swope presents Marcos Cabrera with a Volunteer Rookie Award at the 2011 Volunteer Recognition Luncheon on October 27.

Volunteers in our path are the blaze
that move us ahead with a strong gaze.

The words above are an excerpt from Marcos Cabrera’s poem “Red Cross Volunteers.” Marcos began writing poetry in 1965, just after moving to the United States from the Dominican Republic. He has  written more than 2,000 poems about love and life, carrying a notebook and pen with him at all times, prepared for inspiration to strike at any moment.

Marcos has published three books of poems. He is currently promoting the third in the Dominican Republic. Writing poetry keeps him busy, but after retiring, he felt the need to give back to the community and finally had the time to do so.

In March of 2011, Marcos visited the Fort Knox Red Cross Service Center to become a volunteer. He was first asked to work with “Helping Hands,” a program that provides food, clothing and household goods to qualified military families in the Fort Knox area. In a matter of a few months, Marcos went from spending one or two hours with “Helping Hands” to dedicating the majority of his free time to Fort Knox special events and programs including the Run for the Red 5/10K, the Xtreme Youth Volunteer Program and the Camp Red Challenge where kids participate in outdoor activities while learning disaster preparedness and basic first aid.

His positive attitude and motivation to help wherever needed earned him a Volunteer Rookie award at the Volunteer Recognition Luncheon on October 27, 2011.

"His dedication to serving the soldiers and families on Fort Knox show his greatest ability, selfless service," said Fort Knox Service Center Manager May Giulitto.

Marcos served in the U.S. Army for 20 years and has been assisted by Red Cross services to armed forces. In July of 1984, while Marcos was stationed in Greece, his father passed away. The Red Cross helped him communicate with his family and helped cover travel expenses in order for him to return to the Dominican Republic for his father’s funeral.

“I feel good when I can help a soldier because I was a soldier," Marcos said. "I know the things they go through."

Marcos said he volunteers for the Red Cross because he gets a chance to help others and work with a group of positive people willing to give something back to the community.

“The main idea is a hand helping another hand,” Marcos said. “You can’t always give what people need, but you can give what you have.”