In honor of National Volunteer Week (April 6-12, 2014), Direct Relief is spotlighting dedicated volunteers who help make the work possible. Learn about some of the wonderful people behind the scenes.
No stranger to public service, retired Santa Barbara City Fire Chief Andrew DiMizio has become an invaluable resource to Direct Relief, helping out with anything and everything around the office and warehouse.
During his 33 years at the Santa Barbara City Fire Department, Andrew became familiar with many local partners. Direct Relief – which provides masks, inhalers, and other needed items to providers treating patients affected by fires – stood out to him as a great community resource.
After retiring, Andrew reached out to Direct Relief to offer his experience and knowledge in emergency response. Good with his hands, Andrew now volunteers helping fix up odds and ends around the Direct Relief office and warehouse. He is happy to give back in whatever way he can, explaining that he feels Direct Relief is a lot like the fire department in that “there’s the day-to-day tasks to keep it going but then you need to be flexible when things happen and Direct Relief has to respond on a global stage.”
As fire chief, Andrew worked with many volunteers and said he has “always recognized how important volunteers are for stretching the dollar and expanding the mission for organizations and now I get to give that back.”
For Andrew, volunteering at Direct Relief allows him to work with an organization whose mission is close to his heart.
“What I missed when I retired from firefighting was having a purpose, and that’s one of the unique things about being a volunteer, you don’t do it for money, you do it for purpose and because it brings meaning back to you,” said Andrew.
Direct Relief is thankful for all of Andrew’s hard work and the years of local experience he brings to the organization.