American Red Cross of Greater Los Angeles
11355 Ohio Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90025
Check out American Red Cross of Greater Los Angeles on VolunteerMatch, or find your own local chapter.
In a huge and sprawling city like Los Angeles that lives in the shadow of an ever-present earthquake threat, Babak Nahid certainly has his work cut out for him. He needs qualified volunteers, and recognizes that he has to keep up with the fast pace of today's environment to find them.
"The magnitude of the task of helping a metropolitan vastness like Los Angeles prepare for, prevent, and respond to disaster can keep me awake at night!"
Nahid is Community Outreach Manager at the American Red Cross of Greater Los Angeles, putting him in charge of preparing Los Angeles for any kind of disaster. This is no easy task, considering that in addition to earthquakes, the area regularly faces the possibility of fire, flooding, and tsunami, as well as man-made threats like poverty, crime and terrorism.
To help him with his job, Nahid and his staff at the Greater LA chapter turn to VolunteerMatch to provide them with a technology-oriented solution to their recruiting. The volunteers Nahid recruits and trains all year round, in addition to volunteers from the more than 800 other American Red Cross chapters around the country, serve an invaluable role when they are called upon to help during chaotic times.
Like many Americans, Nahid was "humbled and inspired" by 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. His decision to act upon his feelings eventually led him to seek a position with the American Red Cross. He says he was drawn to the organization in part by the quality of service it has consistently provided and because of its status as a highly visible national organization.
"I applied to serve in [the Red Cross'] Community Outreach department to help build its capacity by recruiting the most qualified volunteers, building sustainable partnerships with other community and government agencies, and streamlining systems and processes that improve its effectiveness," says Nahid.
As easy as Nahid makes it seem with his cheerful and energetic attitude, he notes that his position with the Red Cross is "one of the most challenging jobs I have done, tapping into all areas of my experience and expertise. Frankly, I'm never bored."
His fellow volunteer coordinators can no doubt relate.
The American Red Cross of Greater Los Angeles has been successfully using VolunteerMatch to recruit volunteers since 1999, and Nahid is particularly excited about the new phase of the partnership between the American Red Cross and VolunteerMatch and the additional tools he will have access to as a Community Leader.
"Not only is there a genuine effort by VolunteerMatch to build an intelligent online recruitment system," he says, "but VolunteerMatch and American Red Cross folks are beginning to collaborate in other exciting ways, regularly sharing expertise and perspective."
When Nahid isn't preparing Los Angeles for disaster, he enjoys books and music, and spending time with his teenage son. Not surprisingly, he can also be seen practicing random acts of kindness in his neighborhood, often accompanied by his dog, Dodger. He clearly doesn't limit his humanitarian work to his day job.