Special thanks to all of our wonderful storytellers and others who helped make this project possible, including StoryCorps Atlanta (interview facilitation and photos), Rhett McAllister and Arlington Priest (all music), and Lauren Waits (sound production).
Atlanta’s Red Cross and the community at large mourn the 2014 passing of Dr. Rhodes Haverty, a longtime board leadership volunteer for both our Metro Atlanta Chapter and Southern Blood Services Region. His conversation with former Chapter Chair Tim Hughes shortly before his death gives insight to Dr. Haverty’s unique spirit and the passionate perspective of both volunteers on their Red Cross involvement.
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Mary and Donna met only recently, introduced by a Red Cross employee who knew their Vietnam War experience was a common thread. Donna served as an Army nurse in a combat zone hospital and Mary was part of a team of Red Cross staffers who provided recreational activities for troops in the field. Although their responsibilities were quite different, they share a similar appreciation for the contributions of the American Red Cross during wartime.
Local residents Brigitte Gaillis and Jim Gould are among a uniquely qualified group of Red Cross volunteers nationwide who respond to international emergencies. They've used their expertise to help some of the world’s poorest people recover from natural disasters over the past decade. In this conversation, they talk about their experiences and share their reasons for volunteering.
James Greason has been a dedicated disaster volunteer with Metro Atlanta’s Red Cross since 1996. From the Olympics to Hurricane Katrina to everyday fire responses, this 91-year-old has helped hundreds of his metro neighbors with food, clothing, shelter and compassion. Mr. Greason’s conversation with Red Cross staff member Ruben Brown aired on WABE-90.1 last September and gives insight to his reasons for volunteering.
(Sound Production Credit: Dylan Fagan, producer, WABE-90.1)
Atlanta’s Red Cross recognized 50-year volunteer Dick Meyer on July 5, 2014 as part of our Centennial Celebration at Turner Field. In his many years with us, he has been involved in almost every area of Red Cross service, from teaching first aid and CPR, to responding to local and national disasters, to guiding youth volunteers and more. In a conversation with his son Gordon, Dick shares that, of all his accomplishments, he’s most proud of instilling a love of service in his own children.
The Buckhead day trader shootings in 1999 resulted in the deaths of 12 people and traumatized the City of Atlanta. Meredith Forrester was gravely injured, yet survived with the help of her medical team, blood provided by the Red Cross, and her family. Today, she uses her experience for good as a Red Cross volunteer and champion for blood donations. Meredith and her mother, Loretta Fine, share their memories of the tragedy and their appreciation for those who give the gift of life
Don Stephens, the Metro Atlanta Chapter’s former, longtime Director of Emergency Services, became a mentor for new employee Nancy Brockway in 1983. For the next 20 years, they helped build our metro disaster program and responded to fires, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, terrorism and more. Although they traveled the country on behalf of the Red Cross, it was a local crisis that “hit home” when they reflected on their years as colleagues.
Some call it being in the right place at the right time. Others see it as the work of angels. Any way you look at it, Red Cross-trained by-standers have used their skills to save countless lives over the past century. This is the story of Brian Chapin, a Red Cross-certified CPR instructor and his dramatic encounter with Susan Fassnact, her infant daughter and a metro fast food parking lot in 2007
Sisters often go through a lot together but not many spend weeks in an Intensive Care Unit following a tragedy. Metro residents Katie (Wootton) Shuford and her sister, Nikki Lear, got together to talk about how life has changed for their whole family in the years since Katie’s accident, and the critical role that Red Cross-supplied blood played in her recovery.
“Passionate” is the only word to describe how Red Cross volunteers Gail Slomovitz and Yvonne Evans feel about the topic of preparedness. They share how their backgrounds and experiences motivate them to help others see the value in taking action before emergencies happen.
When metro residents Glenda and Joe Mertes decided it was time to retire, they didn’t settle into their rocking chairs; they went looking for people to help! The couple encountered the Red Cross after a tornado in South Georgia and found their volunteer calling. Today, they are trained Emergency Response Vehicle drivers who hit the road at a moment’s notice, delivering meals and supplies to disaster-stricken families. They talk about their Red Cross experiences and what makes them a good team.