Raul Mora is the manufacturing director in blood services. I meet Raul on the first floor of the American Red Cross headquarters in Chicago for our interview. He is sitting in front of his computer and greets me with a smile. Raul tells me that he has spent most of his career in blood banking, including 19 years with the Red Cross and enthusiastically says, “…it means a lot to me that we are helping the community, [that] we are saving lives day in and day out.”
Whenever I meet Raul in the office, he often speaks to me in Spanish. He learned the language from his parents who were both from Mexico. He talks proudly about them and tells me a story about his dad when he first immigrated to the United States, “He lived in New York with one of my uncles, and someone stole his visa and his passport, so my dad joined the 82nd Airborne so that he could make right and get his papers in order. My dad was a paratrooper in the late 50s.”
Raul is very proud of his Mexican roots and sees Hispanic Heritage Month as a celebration of the many contributions Latinos have made to the country, and adds that it is a celebration of all the Latino community has accomplished. He talks about the sacrifices that his parents made to raise him and his six siblings, and with certain melancholy in his voice he tells me about his father’s dreams and aspirations of one day returning to Mexico with the family to start a business. Even though this never became a reality for his dad, for Raul it is a reminder of how hard workers Latinos are.
As a Red Crosser, Raul understands the importance of helping those in need and building stronger communities. He realizes how crucial volunteers are to the humanitarian mission of the organization and explains, “…disasters don’t take a break. They are constantly happening, and the only way we can help people is through people.”
You can help by becoming a blood donor. Make an appointment today to donate blood by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
Written by Isis Chaverri, Regional Marketing & Communications Manager