Peri­od­i­cal­ly I write con­tent for non­prof­it Blogs, Web­sites, and/or Newslet­ters, includ­ing Kitchen Cred, the East­ern Penn­syl­va­nia Amer­i­can Red Cross and Red Paw Emer­gency Relief Team.

I first became involved with Kitchen Cred in 2013 as a lead­er­ship facil­i­ta­tor and blog con­trib­u­tor. Kitchen Cred pro­grams are root­ed in the uni­ver­sal expe­ri­ence of food and cook­ing. And while some kids may dis­cov­er a culi­nary call­ing, Kitchen Cred is fun­da­men­tal­ly about life skills.  We cook up Recipes for Life that empow­er mid­dle- and high school stu­dents to fos­ter health­i­er, hap­pi­er indi­vid­u­als and com­mu­ni­ties.  Beyond learn­ing about nutri­tion and food prepa­ra­tion, stu­dents devel­op self-esteem, lead­er­ship and team work. We com­bine the expe­ri­ence of edu­ca­tors, chefs, nutri­tion­ists and com­mu­ni­ty youth pro­grams with cut­ting edge edu­ca­tion­al gam­ing tech­nol­o­gy to cre­ate an inno­v­a­tive, moti­vat­ing cur­ricu­lum.

The Red Paw Emer­gency Relief Team is an emer­gency ser­vices, non­prof­it orga­ni­za­tion that works in con­junc­tion with the Philadel­phia Office of Emer­gency Man­age­ment, the Philadel­phia Fire Depart­ment, the Amer­i­can Red Cross, and oth­er pub­lic and pri­vate dis­as­ter relief orga­ni­za­tions Their mis­sion is to pro­vide relief and recov­ery for dis­placed pets and their peo­ple 24/7, and to ensure that ALL fam­i­ly mem­bers are tak­en care of dur­ing and after a dis­as­ter in their home. Red Paw vol­un­teers pro­vide emer­gency assis­tance includ­ing search & res­cue, emer­gency trans­port, shel­ter, and vet­eri­nary care to ani­mals involved in fires and oth­er res­i­den­tial dis­as­ters.

As a Red Paw Vol­un­teer I Pledge

We will not leave you alone in a charred and tumbled building
We will find you and take you to safety
We will not leave you injured and in pain
We will carry you to aid
We will not leave you on the streets to fend for yourself
We will place you in the arms of family
We will see you home 

Diane P. Cof­fey © request per­mis­sion to reprint

When asked the ques­tion why  vol­un­teer with the Amer­i­can Red Cross?  The first thought that crossed my mind was a poem I wrote a num­ber of years ago. At the time I titled the poem Pas­sion­ate Peo­ple. From my per­spec­tive this poem encap­su­lates the  Amer­i­can Red Cross‘ core val­ues: Com­pas­sion­ate, Col­lab­o­ra­tive, Cre­ative, Cred­i­ble, and Com­mit­ted. Amer­i­can Red Cross vol­un­teers, donors, and part­ners are com­mit­ted to turn com­pas­sion into action  to alle­vi­ate human suf­fer­ing in the face of emer­gen­cies. This poem speaks to impar­tial­i­ty and  fun­da­men­tal prin­ci­ples that do not dis­crim­i­nate includ­ing, neu­tral­i­ty from race, reli­gion, ide­ol­o­gy, pol­i­tics, and with respect for all of  human­i­ty.

Volunteers are Passionate People
We do what we do because we believe in people
Tall ones, short ones, young and old
Each one unique
People with thoughts, attitudes and beliefs
Complex and simple
Ordinary and extraordinary
We believe in people with dreams
And people seeking dreams
We believe in possibilities and potentials
We believe in bonding together
And opening our hearts
Person to person
Heart to heart 

Diane P. Cof­fey © request per­mis­sion to reprint