Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Volunteer Profile | Scott Kahler

by Kelly Norton, Volunteer Contributor 

Who: Scott Kahler, American Red Cross in the National Capital Region volunteer

What: Scott received the Joan White Grass Roots Service Award from Volunteer Alexandria for his impressive service to the Alexandria community. This award is given annually to a volunteer in the community who "selflessly committed  time, energy, and skills to help an organization to further its mission."

When: The awards ceremony was held on Friday, October 25th.

Where: Alexandria, Virginia 

Why: For the past seven, years Scott has volunteered with the Red Cross on the Disaster Action Team (DAT) in Alexandria, responding to emergencies, including residential and commercial fires, to ensure those affected have housing, clothing, and food. He also monitors scanner radios within Alexandria and the surrounding communities to keep residents alert about incidents. In addition, Scott provides leadership to Ready When the Time Comes (RWTC), a corporate volunteer program. In this role, he serves as a leader for his group of Deloitte colleagues, trained in Red Cross shelter management and ready to be called upon during a local disaster. 

Scott's also a leader in a variety of other areas, including client casework and driving Emergency Response Vehicles (ERV). 

Missing giving back to the community, Scott first began volunteering with the Red Cross in 2001 after he left military service. He was part of the response team during Hurricane Katrina that worked to open shelters, which was a powerful experience for Scott.

"I like helping people. It gives me satisfaction. The gratitude of people - since the Red Cross was the only one doing anything at the time and knowing I was one of them - was phenomenal!"

Scott's commitment to helping others is further demonstrated through his work for No Borders Youth Chorus, which he helped found in 2011 and brings youth from around the world, including Canada, Germany, England, Australia, and China to Carnegie Hall each December to participate in the US/Japan Goodwill Concert. All funding for the Chorus comes from grants and generous donations so that the young singers can have this amazing experience.

In all of his volunteer work, Scott demonstrates true grass roots efforts by working together with his community partners on shared concerns to affect change.

When asked about receiving the Joan White Grass Roots Service Award, Scott was appreciative, noting that he especially like that the Red Cross was getting recognized for their efforts in the Alexandria community.

Congratulations, Scott! And thank you for your inspiring service!  

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