Jeff Redfield learned about the importance of smoke alarms early on after a fire started in his childhood home. Little did he know he’d later work for an organization that combats home fires in communities every day. Jeff joined the Red Cross as a Regional Philanthropy Officer in our Ohio Buckeye Region in late 2013 and has worked in the fundraising field for over 21 years. Read on to find out how Jeff has shaped his career at the Red Cross.
What made you decide to work at the Red Cross?
I wanted to work at the Red Cross because I was drawn to the mission to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies and hoped to work with a larger team of people who were passionate about helping others. In my role, I help us achieve that mission by working with generous financial donors who want to make a difference. I really enjoy using my professional fundraising skills to help such an important service organization.
What’s your favorite thing about working with the Red Cross?
It’s a tossup between our passionate volunteers and the commitment of our donors. I have the privilege of working with people who have dedicated many years to volunteering. And donors are also in a position where they can really make a difference in other’s lives. Being able to use my years of experience as a nonprofit fundraiser so we can achieve our mission is both professionally and personally rewarding.
Outside of your current role, what are some other ways that you’ve gotten involved at the Red Cross?
I have been a member of the National Red Cross Pride Resource Group for five years now. This LGBTQ+ and Ally resource group is an important aspect of the organization because it conveys to internal and external partners a sense of inclusion and acceptance within the Red Cross. It also reflects our history of a commitment to diversity and the seven founding principles of the organization. I have served as a Recording Secretary in the group for the last two years where I help with membership updates, writing meeting minutes, distributing diversity pins and tracking information.
What’s one of your favorite Red Cross campaigns to work on and why?
In middle school, I remember coming home one day and seeing smoke floating out of my sister’s room. I later learned that a child who had been playing with my sister in her room threw a match into the garbage can and started a fire. Luckily, the damage was limited to my sister’s room – no one was hurt and we didn’t lose much, but it makes me think about all those families who aren’t so lucky. That’s why campaigns like the Red Cross Home Fire Campaign, created in 2014 to reduce home fire-related deaths, are so meaningful to me. As part of the campaign, I’ve installed smoke alarms with volunteers and written grants to donors that ensure there’s funding to help prevent fires throughout my region. This work is a direct connection to our mission, and it’s always been exciting to see how the campaign grows and how it helps save so many lives.
Would you encourage other people to work with us?
Absolutely! The Red Cross embraces people from all different backgrounds and ethnicities and celebrates those with different talents. And if you’re looking for a place to work with a direct line of service mission, the Red Cross is it.
Searching for a career where you can make a difference? Start your Red Cross job search here: https://www.redcross.org/about-us/careers.html.