Red Cross volunteers in action

Last week was National Volunteer Week, a time to celebrate all Red Cross volunteers, especially Shelby County Red Cross volunteers. This year’s theme, Celebrating People in Action, aptly described the many Shelby volunteers who use their time and talents to help our neighbors in need. Red Cross volunteers are doers. Red Cross volunteers are people in action.

Our chapter has more than 49 volunteers from all walks of life. They come together with one common purpose — to provide relief to victims of disasters and help people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Everyone can be great because anyone can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve.

“You don’t even have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve … You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love…”

With hearts full of grace and souls generated by love Red Cross volunteers are always ready to step in and help people down the street, across the nation and around the world. They teach lifesaving safety courses such as first aid, CPR, babysitting and care giving. Volunteers serve veterans, members of the military and their families; work at blood drives; respond to large and small disasters; and provide international tracing services.

The Shelby County Red Cross wants to thank each volunteer. We take this time to recognize the selfless gifts of time, money and blood the Red Cross has received from the citizens of Shelby County. We could not fulfill all of the American Red Cross programs and services without the dedication of our volunteers and for each one, I’m thankful.

This is also a time to invite you to join us. If you are not a volunteer, give the Red Cross a try. Red Crossers are people who are trained to perform extraordinary acts in the face of emergencies. Right now we especially need people who like to work with children for our Community Education program and volunteers for our Local Disaster Response program. To volunteer, contact the Shelby County Red Cross office at 987-2792.

Mary Kinard is the executive director of the Shelby County Red Cross, which is a member of Shelby County VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster).