April 10, 2014
“I have been volunteering with the Red Cross for about 5 years. Standing out in the street with a family watching firefighters put out a fire in their house & being able to help them with a debit card for a motel, food, clothes, shoes & prescriptions gives you a really good feeling. Whether we are helping blood donors at the chapter or coliseum, feeding firefighters, law enforcement & EMT’s at an extended fire or hostage situation, opening a shelter for homeless people on an extremely cold night or people without power during an ice storm or going anywhere in the country to help victims of natural disasters, the opportunities offered by the Red Cross to give back are amazingly rewarding. The training & teamwork are topnotch & we need volunteers for a wide variety of activities.”
Al Clegg isn’t just listing activities that “some” people do. He has done all of those because he truly loves people. In fact, he was working at a shelter after the last ice storm. Some of the people staying at the shelter kept talking about “the food man”. They didn’t have a name but they talked about a man who would bring the food and make sure everyone was taken care of- even those wtih allergies. They talked about how nice he was to everyone- especially the kids. Staying in a shelter isn’t always easy but this man made the stay a little better. It took a little work to track down who they were talking about- but it didn’t surprise me to find it was our friend Al.
Thanks Al, for all you do for the Red Cross!
April 9, 2014
“I have been the recipient of compassion and guidance from people who did not even know me. I have felt the arms and hands of comfort from those who wanted to help without wanting anything in return; from average people who did not know they were heroes. I volunteer and write for the Red Cross so that I can try and illuminate the actions in people who are paragons of love but who would otherwise stand unrecognized in our world that rewards fame and fortune. Their altruism inspires me to act as they do so I may receive the fulfillment they feel by helping heal the physically and mentally wounded.”
Ryan Johnson is a very talented writer who uses his skills to pass on the Red Cross story. He’s also on the social media team. When he was at UNCG, he realized there wasn’t a Red Cross Club on campus… so he started one!
When you think of volunteering for the Red Cross, you most likely think of blood drives and Disaster Action Teams. We still need volunteers for those positions. We also need, photographers, videographers, editors, social media skills and administrative skills. If you have a skill, we can probably find a place for you. To find out more, check out our website.
April 8, 2014
Today’s volunteer of the week is Jeffrey Brewer from Ashe County. He’s only been with the Red Cross for a few months but he jumped in with both feet and is devoted to helping people with all his heart…
“As a volunteer for the American Red Cross, I serve the communities through being a Disaster Action Team member as well as mass care and sheltering along with Government Liaison. I also mentor the newer DAT folks on the ins and outs of a good response.
I wanted to volunteer for the Red Cross because when I was 13 me and my family lost our home to fire and all we had was the clothes on our backs. The Red Cross helped us get a place to stay and gave us enough money to get some clothing. It made such and impact on my life that I have always tried to do by others as it was done for us. I enjoy the feeling of being a blessing to others by helping them to start the rebuilding process.
I really enjoy my job with the Red Cross because I am always wanting to give back to others and bless others. Some people ask me do I do this for recognition and my answer is “NO”. I do this to be a blessing to others as God has blessed me with my life and family. I got my second chance so now it is a pay it forward attitude”.
We are always looking for more volunteers for our Disaster Action Teams in all counties between Boone and Burlington. If you have an interest, visit our website.
April 7, 2014
April 6-12 is Volunteer Week. 94% of the workforce in the Red Cross is made of volunteers. So each day, we will spotlight a different person to show how much they mean to us. You’ll also see how diverse their skills are. If you want to volunteer with us, check us out here.
Jenelle Boxter has been volunteering with Services to Armed Forces for the past few months. Here’s why she gives her time…
“I chose to volunteer at the Red Cross as part of my Internship to graduate from UNCG. I love being an SAF volunteer because of the opportunity to help service members and their families in times of need. It’s a great opportunity to experience new things while being able to help others!”
“For the future I’d like to work with service members. I plan to go back to school either in the spring of 2015 or the fall of 2015 for a Masters of Social Work to become a military social worker. Ultimately I’d love to either work with the Red Cross on an installation or for the VA system.”
We’re biased- but we hope she ends up with the Red Cross!
March 28, 2014
Wen-Chi Elmer first came to the United States for college. She came over from her home country to completely start over. New home… new friends… new language. She wasn’t afraid to step away from everything she knew and loved to start a new adventure.
After she got to this country, she finished her degree. She got married and had children. As a stay at home mom for many years, she said she felt like she got a little too pampered. She got a little too comfortable. Her kids went away to college and she was sad when she realized they just didn’t need her like they used to. Her life had always revolved around her kids and she suddenly found herself unsure of what to do with her time.
That’s when she found the American Red Cross.
She began by volunteering at the food pantry. That made her feel needed but she wanted a little more. After about a year, she volunteered to be part of a Disaster Action Team. The teams are on call for a week at a time to respond on behalf of the Red Cross when there is any type of disaster- from house fires to tornadoes. Today, she has worked her way up and volunteers for national responses.
Elmer says that volunteering for the Red Cross gives her a chance to discover herself after being completely wrapped up in her kids’ lives for so long. She feels fulfilled because she is directly helping people in need.
Maybe you’re looking for an opportunity like this. The Red Cross needs Disaster Action Team members of all ages and backgrounds. If you would like more information, check out our website: http://www.redcross.org/support/volunteer
Disaster Action Team members are called to the scene of a disaster as soon as the Fire Department or Emergency Management survey a scene and call the Red Cross. Disasters range from house fires to tornadoes. We try to assess the needs and fill them, whether the need is for a snack and a bottle or water, a place to stay for the night or a teddy bear to calm down a scared child.
March 10, 2014
“It was a really great experience!” That’s not always what you hear from someone who’s power has been off since Thursday night… and it’s Monday afternoon.
Nakeisha Wilmore then went back and said, “maybe not great- but pretty good, all things considered.”
Nakeisha, Monica Paschal, and all of their kids moved into their house last week and had just gotten power connected… when it went out. The ice storm last Thursday night took their power close to midnight. They all stayed in a cold house overnight and most of the day on Friday. By Friday evening, they said they didn’t know what the temperature might have been -but they could see their breath. They knew it was time to seek warmth- especially since there was a 7 month old and a 16 month old in the house. Nakeisha said the hardest part was that the situation was out of her control. She wanted to take care of her family but she just couldn’t bring the power back!
When they got to the shelter, Wilmore said she walked in and immediately felt comfort. That was because of the Red Cross volunteers. She said everyone made them feel welcome. Their favorite was the “Food Man”, Al Clegg. He would bring the food and make sure everyone was taken care of- especially the ones with food allergies. Her daughter named Jazz was particularly fond of Margaret Erga. That’s who you see in the picture. Margaret has been leaving her own home, without power, to work in the shelter each day.
Happy ending: Two hours later, their power was back on. They’re now back in their home with power. Who’s ready for spring?
February 19, 2014
Story submitted by Kara Lusk-Dudley, Communications Program Manager for the Carolinas Blood Services Region…
At just 29 years old, Kendall Murphy, of Greensboro, NC, is not only a Red Cross volunteer and Board member, she’s already saved someone’s life using the skills she learned from Red Cross. Kendall is a Red Cross ambassador at the truest sense of the word.
In August of 2011, Kendall was working at the Wyndham Championship (golf tournament) in Greensboro when a spectator collapsed right in front of her. Kendall performed CPR to revive him until emergency responders arrived.
“If it had not been for me being assigned to that location that day, Randy may not be here today to enjoy his life, said Red Cross volunteer and Board member Kendall Murphy. “Randy is alive and we have a forever relationship. I never thought that Randy nominating me for an award would have been as rewarding as it has been. That August day has opened so many doors and taught me so much. ”
Kendall received the Salute to Hero’s Award from the Red Cross Heart of Carolina Region last year, and in her words—“It was for just doing something that I had be taught how to do.”
Kendall has another connection to the Red Cross—she needs blood to survive. Kendall has a clotting disorder and at anytime could be in need of blood to save her life. Since Kendall can’t donate blood, she wanted to find her own way to give back to the American Red Cross.
Kendall is very active with her local Red Cross Chapter, serving on the Board of Directors for the Heart of Carolina Region. She enjoys volunteering at Red Cross events such as the WFMY blood drive and speaking to others about the importance of donating blood. Kendall also encourages people of all ages to learn first aid and CPR and speaks to others about all of the services that Red Cross provides. Kendall’s husband David donated blood for the first time at the drive in her honor.
Kendall is currently working on her instructor license to teach first aid and CPR with the Red Cross.