Chicago Man Helps Feed Fellow Veterans During COVID-19: Award Sponsor CDW Honors 2021 Red Cross Military Hero 

This Veteran’s Day, the American Red Cross of Illinois is proud to honor veteran armed forces members for their bravery and service.  

Akbar Arsiwala, a U.S. Navy veteran is the recipient of the 2021 Military Hero Award. When he learned that the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center was forced to close its food pantry due to the pandemic, Akbar sprang into action to organize pop-up pantries across Chicago. The pop-up pantries distributed an average of 15,000 to 20,000 pounds of food monthly during the difficult summer of 2020. 

Akbar Arsiwala
Akbar Arsiwala with his award.

Each year, the organization celebrates the everyday heroes in our communities and honors their acts of great bravery, dedication, and service through theHeroes Breakfast event. The event also serves as a way for the Red Cross to highlight partnerships with corporations that make the lifesaving mission possible, like CDW, the 2021 Military Hero Award Sponsor. 

The long-time supporter of the Military Hero Award, CDW honors patriotism and service to our country as they believe those who wear the uniform do so with a sense of duty. CDW honors our veterans, wounded warriors, active-duty service members and their families by providing technology and support while deployed and after they return home.

For more than 37 years, CDW and its coworkers have supported and improved the communities where they live and work through a variety of programs, establishing a company culture that values strong corporate citizenship. CDW has long supported the work of the American Red Cross. Their coworkers passionately support blood drive efforts, and disaster response volunteer efforts through the Ready When the Time Comes Program.  

Help the Red Cross honor community heroes in 2022! Visit to nominate a Hero in your life. See website for eligible Illinois counties, nominations must be submitted by December 31, 2021.

More from Better:

  Who We Are       NFP Support       Magazine       Programs       Donate