American Red Cross in Greater New York Podcast
The Spirit of Giving Back

The Spirit of Giving Back

December 18, 2019

As a Disaster Spiritual Care volunteer, Rabbi Stephen Roberts provides a very unique form of assistance following emergencies large and small. Working alongside team members from different faiths, he tends to the spiritual needs of individuals recovering from trauma and tragedy by providing them with safe space in which to cope. And in doing this work, he also carries forward a long-standing family legacy of service.

Rabbi Stephen Roberts has volunteered with the American Red Cross for 20 years. He is currently the lead for the Disaster Spiritual Care Function within the American Red Cross in Greater New York. Previously, he served on the American Red Cross National Spiritual Care Oversight Committee from 2000-2016. In 2016 he contributed to the launch of the Disaster Spiritual Care Function within the American Red Cross. Further, Rabbi Roberts served four years on the National American Red Cross President’s National Diversity Advisory Committee.

Rabbi Roberts is also the co-editor of Disaster Spiritual Care 2nd Edition: Practical Clergy Responses to Community, Regional and National Tragedy which is the first comprehensive book for pastoral care in the face of disaster. His other publications include An Invitation to Chaplaincy Research: Entering the Process, Compassion Fatigue Among Chaplains, Clergy and Other Respondents After September 11and Jewish Pastoral Care in Wake of a Disaster. Rabbi Roberts is also the editor of Professional Spiritual and Pastoral Care: A Practical Clergy and Chaplain's Handbook.

Apple_Podcasts_Listen_Badge_RGB.png Listen on Google Play Music

Producer & Editor: Chi Kong Lui
Hosts: Michael de Vulpillieres and Andrew Sindell

Ready When Called Upon

Ready When Called Upon

December 12, 2019

Fate rarely calls upon us at a moment of our choosing. These words of wisdom are best exemplified by the career of Red Cross IT specialist and international disaster responder Andy Li. Li has often been struck by some apprehension when confronted with the task of supporting major relief operations following some of the largest natural disasters in recent history, but in each instance, no matter what the challenge, his training and instincts took and over allowed him to accomplish the task at hand.

For more than a decade, Andy has served as IT Specialist, a role that has seen him support the organization at the local and national level. During this time, Andy has been called upon to provide IT Support during large-scale relief operations in the continental US and overseas territories: Hurricane Sandy in Greater NY in 2012-13, historic flooding in Louisiana in 2016, Typhoon Soudelor in Saipan in 2016, and Cyclone Gita in American Samoa 2018.

In additional to his work as an IT Specialist, Andy is also a member of the International Disaster Response Delegate Team, a highly specialized and select group of individuals who deploy to offer their expertise on the ground following complex emergencies across the globe. In March/April of this year Andy deployed support a Canadian Red Cross field hospital in Mozambique following Cyclone Idai in 2019. A few months after our interview, Li traveled to the Bahamas to support Hurricane Dorian relief.

Apple_Podcasts_Listen_Badge_RGB.png Listen on Google Play Music

Producer: Chi Kong Lui
Editor: John Cunningham
Host: Michael de Vulpillieres
Photo: Katie Wilkes

Finding Time To Do Good

Finding Time To Do Good

December 5, 2019

For many, balancing work and family life is challenging enough let alone finding time for the causes we care most deeply about. What makes Conrad Meyer such a model for those who want to make a difference in the world is how, throughout the different stages of his corporate and retired life, he always found time to not only give back, but to involve his family.

During his 25-year career on Wall Street, Conrad was a founding member of Lehman Brothers' Mergers and Acquisitions Department and went on to run the global M&A new business development efforts of Morgan Stanley and Gleacher Partners.

In retirement, Conrad has been involved with a number of non-profit organizations. He is currently a board member the American Red Cross in Greater New York, Chairman of The Blacksmith Institute/Pure Earth, and a board member and Vice Chair of the Hudson River Museum. He is also an active volunteer for each of these groups.

Apple_Podcasts_Listen_Badge_RGB.png Listen on Google Play Music

Producer: Chi Kong Lui
Editor: Sue Tran
Host: Michael de Vulpillieres
Photo: Kevin Suttlehan

Paws for a Cause

Paws for a Cause

November 19, 2019

Everyone can look back into their past and point to one or two defining moments that forever changed the course of their lives. For Judy Audevard that moment came the day her pet Kizzy opened her eyes and her heart to the incredible healing power of dogs. Judy eventually gave up her successful corporate career to dedicate her life to bringing therapy animals to adults and children suffering from anxiety, tragedy and trauma.  

Judy Audevard is President and Founder of the Hudson Valley Paws for a Cause Pet Therapy Program. This is a 501C3 organization who have over 100 Therapy Dog teams affiliated with them. Her work has been recognized by prominent organizations like the United States Military Academy at West Point and the American Red Cross. She has written a nonfiction children’s book called One Incredible dog Kizzy and co-authored a book called At Your Service. Stories about Therapy Dogs and how they help the people they serve.

Apple_Podcasts_Listen_Badge_RGB.png Listen on Google Play Music

Producer & Editor: Chi Kong Lui
Hosts: Michael de Vulpillieres and Andrew Sindell

Through the Fire

Through the Fire

November 6, 2019

Imagine arriving at work one morning greeted by the sight of smoke, and embers falling from the sky. Imagine a situation that deteriorates very quickly, one that forces your entire workplace, and your entire town to evacuate. Imagine escaping town in your vehicle and seeing nothing but smoke and fire all around you. And, finally imagine a six-hour drive to safety knowing that your home is probably destroyed.

These circumstances were very real for the residents of Paradise, California where, on November 8, 2018, a massive wildfire devastated this tightknit community. 

Abigail Gerspacher-Davis and Mary Petersen Ludwig, teachers from Paradise, were among the many heroes who helped save lives that day. Driven by school bus driver Kevin McKay, Abigail and Mary helped evacuate a group of 22 young students from Ponderosa Elementary School and accompanied them on a long and terrifying ride to safety.

On October 16, 2019, Kevin, Mary and Abigail were recognized for their courage and compassion at the 2019 American Red Cross in Greater NY Heroes Among Us Gala.

Apple_Podcasts_Listen_Badge_RGB.png Listen on Google Play Music

Producer: Craig Cooper
Editor: Chi Kong Lui
Host: Michael de Vulpillieres

Experience Beyond His Years

Experience Beyond His Years

October 28, 2019

Society has become more socially conscious than ever before, especially young people. But finding one's place in the world, where one can contribute and make a difference, can often feel overwhelming. At the same time, parents struggle with how to instill civic minded values in their children. That’s what makes Eli Russ’ story not only remarkable, but also instructional for those looking to find their way. Eli learned the value of service at an early age, almost by chance...and it changed the course of his life.

Eli first joined in 2009 as a member of his high school Red Cross youth club. From 2017 to 2019 he served as the Long Island Chapter's Mass Care Manager. Before and after taking on this position, Eli has held numerous volunteer roles for the organization.

In addition to supporting the Red Cross at dozen's of local disasters, Eli has also deployed in leadership roles to several major domestic and international emergencies, including as the Deputy Assistant Director for Response for Typhoon Yutu in the Northern Mariana Islands as well as the Sheltering Lead at the American Red Cross National Emergency Operations Center for Hurricane Florence.

This fall, Eli Russ celebrated 10 years as an American Red Cross team member, a few weeks shy of his 25th birthday.

Eli currently works as an associate at an Emergency Management consulting firm in Manhattan. He graduated from Muhlenberg College in 2017 with a BA in Public Health.

Apple_Podcasts_Listen_Badge_RGB.png Listen on Google Play Music

Producer: Chi Kong Lui
Editor: Sue Tran
Host: Michael de Vulpillieres
Photo: Kevin Suttlehan

The Journey of a Lifetime

The Journey of a Lifetime

October 17, 2019

Vivian Moy is an active American Red Cross volunteer from Port Washington, N.Y. who supports the organization's home fire safety program, provides assistance at local disasters and serves as a Public Affairs representative.

At times Viv travels to large disasters outside the Greater New York region, like major flooding in Texas, devastating wildfires in Northern California and a Nor'easter in Massachusetts.

Last June, Viv organized an unofficial delegation from the American Red Cross to attend an annual gathering of Red Cross/Red Crescent volunteers from around the world in Solferino, Italy, the birthplace of the Red Cross.

Apple_Podcasts_Listen_Badge_RGB.png Listen on Google Play Music

Producer: Chi Kong Lui
Editor: Sue Tran
Host: Michael de Vulpillieres

Keep Calm and Be There For Others

Keep Calm and Be There For Others

October 1, 2019

Alec Cecil is a psychologist at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center, working primarily with underserved adolescents and young adults and their families.

He joined the American Red Cross in 2001 after the crash of AA Flight 587 in Queens. As part of his work with the Red Cross, Alec volunteers with the organization's Service to the Armed Forces Program (running Reconnection Workshops), he teaches Psychological First Aid and Disaster Mental Health Fundamentals, and he deploys nationally to provide Disaster Mental Health support following major emergencies like Hurricane Harvey and the Parkland shooting.

Apple_Podcasts_Listen_Badge_RGB.png Listen on Google Play Music

Producer: Chi Kong Lui
Editor: Sue Tran
Hosts: Michael de Vulpillieres and Abigail Adams

Season 1: Humanitarians of NY Teaser

Season 1: Humanitarians of NY Teaser

September 24, 2019

The American Red Cross in Greater New York Podcast is a collection of short, intimate conversations with everyday heroes who give back and help others suffering from trauma and tragedy. The theme of this first season is "Humanitarians of New York."

Apple_Podcasts_Listen_Badge_RGB.png Listen on Google Play Music