Ninety percent of the work of the American Red Cross is done by a massive group of dedicated volunteers from all backgrounds and career paths. Dominic Poggi (pronounced Poe-ghee) is one of those trusted volunteers.
Dominic credits his father for inspiring him to work in disaster response. His father did disaster planning for school districts.
“I chose to volunteer for Red Cross because I like seeing the immediate impact of the work,” Dominic said.
It all began when Dominic signed up to install smoke alarms, and then joined the Disaster Action Team. When tornadoes recently hit Ottawa and Naplate, IL, Dominic was there to provide casework support. In addition to all those roles, he is currently completing his training to be a dispatcher as well.
Within these roles, Dominic has faced difficult situations and conversations especially after Hurricane Matthew.
“The woman was distraught and giving up on her recovery. She wasn’t motivated. I talked her through it and got her to agree to speak with disaster mental health. I got her to take a step forward, and I was really proud of that,” Dominic said.
He acknowledges that asking for help is hard for many people, but being able to provide immediate assistance in that critical time is huge!
“I like giving people the confidence to take the path forward and take steps to help themselves, with some assistance along the way,” Dominic said. “It’s great to know that nobody falls through the cracks and that we’re not settling for waiting for them to reach out to us.”
Dominic says volunteering with the Red Cross at the Rauner Center also makes for a fun workplace environment. He recalls one afternoon when he and an intern were heading out for lunch and caught a wonderful aroma of good food. They turned around and “sniffed out” lunch being served right in the building and helped themselves!
Dominic is a driven, dedicated and loyal volunteer for the American Red Cross. And, in May 2017, Dominic joined the team as a staff member! He is excited to make a career out of his passion in fulfilling the Red Cross mission to alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies.
Outside of his generous volunteer time with the Red Cross, you may find Dominic spending time with friends or family. Or, he may be playing hockey, but not on ice, a floor, or concrete. Dominic plays hockey under water! Yes, underwater hockey is a real thing, and it makes for a great workout too.
Dominic has a background in sales and a marketing degree from Northern Illinois University. He started the Toastmasters Club in Evanston four years ago. And, he recently completed Seth Godin’s altMBA program.
But, sales wasn’t enough for him, “Money is good, but it’s not everything,” he said.
Thank you for all you do, Dominic. The American Red Cross is proud to have you.
By: Susan Westerfield, Major Gifts Officer at the American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois