Celebrated volunteer, Alden Cohen, passed away on December 24th at the age of 82. Alden was a Red Cross volunteer for 65 years and taught thousands in First Aid, CPR, AED, disaster relief and community preparedness.
“Alden was one of the nicest people you would ever be fortunate to meet. I knew him for more than 10 years, and worked with him in his role as a volunteer instructor. He was a compassionate, hard-working, and dedicated volunteer for the Red Cross,” says Yvette Alexander-Maxie.
He was an active DAT responder, assisted during major disasters, and volunteered his time to help with fundraising. Alden was also well known for the thoughtful gifts that he would leave for colleagues – each left with an uplifting note and anonymously given.
“Alden trained me as a Red Cross Responder. We did several fires together and through him I learned to be kind and patient with clients. He will be missed. I enjoyed seeing him just come into the office always with a smile,” says Ray Carter.
Alden found time to volunteer with other organizations including the Evanston Police Department and Community Emergency Response Team. In 2006 he was recognized as the Evanston Senior Volunteer of the Year and in 2011 was given the Spirit of Service Award. For over 10 years he volunteered with Literacy Chicago teaching immigrants of all ages English, American culture, history, and civics. Alden was a US Army veteran and was awarded the Army Commendation Ribbon for his service.
His humor, wit and creativeness was valued so much by everyone who worked with him. He was an incredibly generous and kind person and will be missed by his Red Cross family.
“I am truly heartbroken to hear this news,” says Michelle Patel. “Alden was a great volunteer, mentor, friend, and gift to our world. His generosity and patience changed me. He showed me how to make a difference in our clients’ lives. He showed me how to inspire other volunteers. I will never forget the impact he had made on me and countless others.”