Meet an Everyday Hero: Francesa Sebastian
Francesca Sebastian is an Everyday Hero. She is an officer at the University of Houston Red Cross Club and a former Youth Service Council Member for the Greater Houston Area Chapter. She has been a Red Cross volunteer for the past 5 years, since she was a Freshman at her Red Cross Club at Cinco Ranch High School.
Here is what Red Cross means to Francesca in her own words, from January 2013.
As I was perusing through my emails, I came across an invitation for Red Cross Clubs to sponsor forty goodie bags for patients at the Veterans Hospital for the holidays. I immediately volunteered my club to do the holiday bags. At first, I was daunted by the task of making forty goodie bags because I wanted them all to be perfect, I did not know how I was going to do this with my club of twenty people. Also I was faced by the dilemma that the patients were in the spinal cord unit, which meant they had very little mobility. With all of these things stacked against my club and myself, I decided to ask our Key Club and National Honor Society to help us out. I managed to coordinate Key Club and Red Cross Club to make holiday cards for the veterans while I spoke to the National Honor Society about donating some gift cards from their annual to our cause. Key Club and Red Cross Club ended up making forty-five cards while I got the National Honor Society to give us over a thousand dollars in gift cards, giving each soldier a holiday card and around thirty dollars in gift cards. Now that I had the supplies I had to put the bags together, my officers and I assembled the bags in assembly like fashion placing peppermint candies and candy canes, then moving to placing the Holiday card inside with a tissue paper accent. The next day the Key Club president, my advisor, and I went to the VA hospital to deliver the bags. I was very nervous because I did not know whether they would like the bags we made. When we got inside the VA, a Red Cross representative and the hospital chaperone came and greeted us. We loaded up the bags on our cart, weaved through the long, almost endless hallways and arrived to our first patient, we entered the room and a smiling man greeted us. He shook our hands and introduced himself as Cedric, we gave him the goodie bag, and I proceeded to ask him what his favorite store was, he told me Wal-Mart, and I presented him with three, ten dollar gift cards. His face lit up and with shaky hands he took the gift cards, our Red Cross representative asked him to take a picture with us and he agreed as we stood around his bed, I heard sniffling and I thought someone had a cold. I looked down to Cedric and he was crying, my heart clenched, it was such a touching moment that I was able to impact his life with such a small gift. As we continued on to the rooms, I saw the patient’s faces light up when they saw us and they were even more ecstatic when I brought their goodie bag and gift cards.
Not many people can say that they made an impact in someone’s life but I went home knowing that the members Key Club, Red Cross Club, National Honor Society and myself made an impact on forty lives. Although this event was hard to organize, the amazing lesson and feeling we all got was worthwhile.