By Stephanie Heckman, Red Cross Public Relations Intern
Earlier this month, the Red Cross of Greater Columbus honored six volunteers at the 2013 Annual Meeting. These “Outstanding Volunteers” were nominated for their exceptional service and commitment to the Red Cross in the departments of Community Transportation, Emergency Services, Financial Development, First Aid Services Team (FAST), Volunteer Services, and Communications.
Sue Frank represented our Community Transportation department as an Outstanding Volunteer for her life-saving work in ensuring that seniors, cancer patients and people with disabilities can travel to essential appointments. In transporting these clients, she has made an astonishing 525 one-way trips. Clients describe her as “having a great attitude and being a very good driver.”
Another Sue, Sue Mathias, won the Outstanding Volunteer award for her four years of commitment to the Emergency Services department. As an administrative volunteer, Mathias is recognized for never missing a day of volunteering. Her coworkers praise her ability to calmly dispatch disaster action teams and call for assistance during fires and other natural disasters.
Ame Conover was recognized for her excellent fundraising and event-planning skills in our Financial Development. This Outstanding Volunteer used her skills to ensure that the Red Cross Annual Golf Classic and the Humanitarian of the Year became great successes. Supervisors says that Conover “jumps right into her assigned tasks and cheerfully helps out.”
Like the great Clara Barton of early Red Cross days, Kim Tolliver has used her nursing skills to give free care to those in need. Tolliver spent 152 onsite hours of her time in First Aid Stations treating patients with FAST. In her free time, she represents the FAST department at volunteer orientations and is currently training to become a certified CPR instructor.
Shafaq Majeed is the Outstanding Volunteer for the Volunteer Services department. I had the pleasure to interview Majeed for this blog and have no surprise that she was chosen for this award. Majeed has the distinction of volunteering at every Red Cross department. As she told me during our interview in March, when one volunteers at the Red Cross, “You get to meet new people every day, they are all so giving; you get to know more about how to act in disasters, you get a lot of experience out of volunteering here.”
In our Communications and Marketing Department, I was chosen as Outstanding Volunteer for my “hard work on internal and external messaging” and “can-do attitude.” (Not my own words!) I’ve loved my time as a public relations intern for the Red Cross and I am honored to receive this award. I passionately believe that all communication, journalism and marketing majors should consider interning or volunteering for the Red Cross. I couldn’t think of a better way to gain experience in PR and marketing than to practice those skills while helping to others.
Finally, the Red Cross recognized the commitment and bravery of the many local volunteers who were deployed across the country in 2012 and early 2013. Over 217 disaster relief trips were made in 2012 by volunteers who chose to put their lives on pause and leave work, friends, family and home for weeks at a time. These volunteers showed great compassion and strength during large-scale disasters such as Superstorm Sandy, the Boston Marathon bombings and the Oklahoma tornadoes. One volunteer was also recently deployed to help with the Colorado wildfires.
If you would like to become the next Outstanding Volunteer or if you dream about helping communities after disasters, sign up to become a volunteer today.