Written by: Rebecca Churchill, volunteer
Andy Heymann is a passionate Red Cross volunteer, blood donor, and career Army veteran. He currently works for the Smithsonian Institution and the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC), which is a workplace charity program that facilitates charitable giving to select non-profit organizations, including the Red Cross.
Andy has been deployed all over the world, and it is easier to ask what parts of the world he has yet to see. As a soldier, he has been at the epicenter of international conflicts and has seen the devastation that war has on people, communities, and services. He also witnessed the action and involvement of the Red Cross within the Armed Forces. Andy recently stood up at his CFC fair and announced that the Red Cross was his lifetime charity of choice, and encouraged others to sign up for paycheck deductions designated to the Red Cross, potentially raising thousands of dollars for the organization. When asked how he came to have such a commitment to the Red Cross, Andy shared his story.
In the summer of 1979, he was a young soldier at special training camp in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, when he got a call that his father had been hospitalized. It was July 4th weekend and all the banks were closed – this was before ATM machines, and he had to leave immediately. The Red Cross responded with an emergency grant that financed his flight home to be with his family during their bereavement at his father’s passing and funeral.
“It is amazing to me that the Red Cross is always on the scene. They are first responders in every sense and in my desperate time, they made it possible for me to be with my family.”
Andy’s mission is to get more people to make the Red Cross their charity of choice to help support the ongoing work of the Red Cross, so they can be there in times of disaster, suffering, and need. “This is an organization that time after time comes through for people in their worst moments,” he said. And focusing on fundraising for the future of the Red Cross is how Andy is now paying it forward.