Today, as we celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we’d like to highlight Shane Carlin, Director of Development for Individual and Foundation Giving for the Chicago & Northern Illinois region. Shane was born in Seoul, South Korea and came to the United States when he was six years old after being adopted by an Irish-American family. He is among the many men and women who play an important role in helping the American Red Cross fulfill its humanitarian mission every day.
Shane takes to heart his work at the Red Cross. He and his team are responsible for raising funds that allow the American Red Cross to continue fulfilling its lifesaving mission and helping those affected by disasters. Shane was able to experience first-hand the work Red Cross volunteers do, when he deployed to Iowa after tornadoes struck the northern part of the state in 2018, “When you experience that, it’s so much easier to go to those people who are thoughtful and wanting to give what they can to the Red Cross,” explains Shane.
While in Iowa, he helped with fundraising and delivered food to affected residents. Shane describes the time he spent in Iowa helping with relief efforts as very moving and inspirational. He recalls how grateful people were with the help the Red Cross was providing. Shane particularly remembers the encounter he had with a child, “Just to see the gleam on his face…and just to be excited to get the food and a little comfort of a stuffed animal was really neat,” says Shane.
For Shane working with the Red Cross has been an eye opener. He says that it was during his interview that he learned about the different services the Red Cross provides to the community and adds, “I was really moved by how many lines of services we have. I knew about blood, about dealing with hurricanes but I didn’t know that we went to fires, two or three times a day…and definitively I didn’t know about the Service to [the] Armed Forces.”
Working at the Red Cross has been a very fulfilling experience for Shane and when asked about his most memorable moment with the organization, he says that it is generosity of donors, “I think what’s more memorable are the folks that give you just $10 thinking that’s not enough.” He adds that it’s inspiring to see the willingness of people to give whatever they can to help. As he puts it, every dollar counts to advance the humanitarian mission of the Red Cross.
Shane is as proud of the work that he does with the Red Cross as he is proud of being Asian American. He sees the Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month as a great opportunity to bring awareness and education about Asian Americans adding, “It’s something that I value deeply in terms of the Asian American Movement, the educational aspects of the importance of who we are, what we’re about.”
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, please visit: https://www.redcross.org/volunteer/become-a-volunteer.html
Written by Regional Marketing & Communications Manager Isis Chaverri