PARKERSBURG - Volunteering to help others can bring a sense of enjoyment and fulfillment, whether it's for a few months or for many years.
The Parkersburg Chapter of the American Red Cross held a luncheon Tuesday at Golden Corral in Parkersburg to honor volunteers in its Blood Services program, who collectively have donated more than 2,000 hours in the past year, according to Nikki Billiter, supervisor of volunteer recruitment and training for the Red Cross.
Cherly Gergely, communications manager for the American Red Cross Greater Alleghenies, said Tuesday's luncheon recognized the volunteers who work at the Parkersburg chapter's blood donation center and who go to on-site blood drives and bloodmobile visits.
Photo by Wayne Towner
Burl Moore, right, is recognized Tuesday for his years of volunteer service with the American Red Cross Blood Services program in Parkersburg, by Joy Bias, center, manager of donor resources and recruitment, and Nikki Billiter, supervisor of volunteer recruitment and training.
"It's just a way to recognizing and honoring the contributions that they have given over the past year," she said. "We thank them and let them know how much we appreciate it."
The volunteers serve as greeters, register donors and provide them with information and materials and also help with refreshments, making sure someone who has just given blood waits the required 15 minutes before doing anything else and has a drink and snack to help replace their fluids.
"They make them feel welcome and thank them for coming in," Gergely said of the work the volunteers do with the donors.
Lynda Rogers, of Vienna, has been volunteering with the Red Cross blood services program for about three years. She was retired and wanted to get out of the house at the time when she decided to start volunteering, working primarily at the Parkersburg Donor Center on Dudley Avenue.
Rogers has enjoyed the experience, working with the nurses and donors in different ways. She said donors cover a wide range of ages, but lean slightly more to older people. She also helps with weekly meals at St. Francis Xavier Church on Market Street and is active with the Vienna Senior Center.
"I appreciate them doing that," she said of Tuesday's recognition luncheon by the Red Cross. "It's nice when all of us get together."
Parkersburg resident Deanie Kendall said she just started working with the Red Cross in the spring. She has been an active volunteer in a variety of programs in the area over the years and some friends thought the Red Cross program might also interest her, she said.
"It's been great," Kendall said. "You see so many nice people and they're so appreciative of everything you do. You get more out of it than they do, actually."
Nancy Baker, of Vienna, has been involved in the blood services program for 19 years. She started out organizing blood drives at her church while working as church secretary and then got directly involved in the Red Cross program following her retirement.
"I decided to keep doing it to keep myself busy. I enjoy the work and like being out and seeing people," she said.
"I like the interaction with people and there's a fulfillment of being able to help somebody out and know that the work is for a good cause, that makes you feel better," Baker said of her long service with the Red Cross.
At Tuesday's luncheon, those in attendance were recognized with a certificate, a pin with years of service and an appreciation gift. The volunteers recognized - both in attendance and absent - from the Parkersburg area included: Nancy Baker, Betty Bower, Steve Chadock, Elsie Coleman, Carma Guertin, Ruth Gustke, Nellie Harshbarger, Norma Kemp, Deanie Kendall, Diane Lambert, Jerry Lockhart, Leo Moore, Burl Moore, Mary Lou Moore, Ellen Mumma, Jessica Oldaker, Lynda Rogers, Rosalie Rogers, Jean Samples, Robert Schoolcraft, Harold Snyder, Doris Snyder, Marjorie Strickland, Carol Sutphin, Jo Ann Weaver and Alice White.
Billiter said the Red Cross is always interested in more volunteers and anyone interesting in seeing how they might help can call 304-526-2985.