Friday, September 12, 2014

Honoring James Kavan as He Reaches 45 Years With the Red Cross

by Emily Ergas, intern contributor 
Longtime (seriously) volunteer James Kavan

The American Red Cross North Texas Region would like to take a moment to highlight a superior volunteer who reached a milestone of 45 years with the Red Cross. This individual has dedicated thousands of hours and his personal expertise to the Red Cross through teaching classes, delivering blood and supplies and participating in outreach initiatives. Volunteers make up more than 90 percent of the Red Cross and it’s because of these people like our honoree today that we can accomplish so much. 

James Kavan is originally from Michigan although we have the honor of having him in our local Dallas Area Chapter today since 1994. He joined the American Red Cross in Michigan in 1969 at the urging of his former supervisor. He was a loss control specialist or safety engineer at an insurance business where his supervisor, with the desire to give back to the local community they worked in, asked that everyone volunteer. 

“My first contact with the Red Cross was in 1968 when I attended a First Aid Class,” James remembers. “I figured I was already in the safety field and I had had a First Aid class, so the Red Cross seemed the natural place for me to volunteer at.”

Throughout the years, James says he has been an instructor for First Aid & CPR classes as well as Disaster classes. He also used to deliver blood. Today, he delivers clothes once a month to local hospitals, is an active member of the Disaster Action Team in Denton and participates in outreach events. 

“I enjoy outreach,” James says. “It’s great to interact with the community and get kids interested in preparedness early.”

“People think the Red Cross is just about blood; they have no idea everything we do.  Prevention is such an important faction. So it’s great to pass out materials about prevention and preparedness to locals.” 

Besides outreach, another facet of working in the community that James enjoys is his role on the Disaster Action Team. He is one of the volunteers who arrive to provide assistance to people who have suffered a disaster. He claims that the most important thing people can learn about being on the team is how to be good listeners. 

“The thing I’ve learned from working with the local community is how to be a good listener and a good communicator,” says James.  “People who experience disasters in any form really need help, and part of that is just listening to their experience or hopes or fears.”

“There are so many people that really need help and it’s gratifying to be able to help them in any small way,” James says. “I’m looking forward to my next 45 years with the Red Cross.”

Thank you James! The American Red Cross looks forward to the amazing work you will continue to do. 

If you’d like to join James in his work at the Red Cross, please visit to start your Red Cross story today! In a few more years, we could also be celebrating your milestone as well! 

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