As part of Red Cross Month, the Yuba County Board of Supervisors today recognized local volunteers.
We are so proud of the many volunteers who help the Gold Country Region carry out the Red Cross mission to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.
American Red Cross Sound the Alarm volunteers installed 115 smoke alarms in Stockton and Modesto homes last Saturday. Two- and three-person teams were dispatched to two mobile home parks which had previously been canvassed for working smoke alarms. During a friendly competition, each team had installed 21 alarms and were ready to call it a day “when a resident flagged us down and asked for one more free install for the tie-breaker,” said STA Lead Jim Horning. Volunteers are still needed for the huge Sound the Alarm event on May 4. Call 1-800-REDCROSS or visit http://www.redcross.org/sound-the-alarm.
Life-long Stockton resident Dennis Saxton began serving blood donors 17 years ago. During his very first volunteering shift, three people passed out! “I almost didn’t come back,” said Dennis, “but I’m glad that I did. Since then, I have met a lot of people I like to call friends.” Dennis thoroughly enjoys spending time with his friends, so much so that, he schedules three regular shifts per week and will come in on a moment’s notice to fill in when needed.
Dennis enjoys the front desk, signing donors in and answering their questions. Dennis moonlights as a trainer and has helped numerous new volunteers learn the subtleties of reception work. With his easy sense of humor, Dennis shines in the Canteen. “I like to meet people and I like to talk,” he ways. But Dennis also understands the serious side of the Canteen. “You have to pay attention to what’s going on around you. We are here to serve the donors.”
Twelve years ago, doctors told Loretta Walker she had only few months to live and she should return home to put her affairs in order.
Instead, she began volunteering at the Red Cross blood center in Manteca. Having received transfusions herself, Loretta has had firsthand experience with blood donations and knows how important donating blood is for the community. In addition to her canteen work and volunteering at local mobile blood drives, Loretta offered to coordinate volunteers for the Manteca center.
“I love communicating with the other volunteers and donors,” said Loretta. I have made some new friends and love visiting my old friends too.”
Another project near to Loretta’s heart is helping Manteca youth. For the past 10 years, Loretta has been an integral part of the FUN (Friday Unity Night) Club. Determined to help keep kids off the streets and away from drugs, community leaders created a safe haven every Friday where kids would go to play games, hear live music and participate in presentations from the police and fire departments.
Loretta continues to serve, despite her ongoing fight against cancer. In April 2018, Loretta had radiation treatments because the tumors had grown. “I don’t give up,” she said. “I am dedicated to working with the community and all the people in it.”
It’s time to spring forward! Remember to turn your clocks forward an hour and test your smoke alarms this weekend.