When she is not volunteering for the American Red Cross Northeastern New York Chapter (ARCNENY), Ann Parrott enjoys reading, dining at ethnic restaurants, playing bridge, and attending dance performances, especially those at Jacob’s Pillow. She is currently reading the memoir, To Good to be True by Benjamin Anastas.
Before she was a volunteer at the Red Cross, Parrott worked as a librarian for more than 25 years. Her last position before retiring in 1990 was at the Upper Hudson Library System.
From 1971–1990 Parrott was a consistent blood donor for the American Red Cross; this is when she started her affiliation with the organization.
When she retired in 1990 ARCNENY associates asked Parrott if she would like to volunteer for the organization. That same year Ann started working with Blood Services at the old Albany offices on Clara Barton Drive, where she gave out cookies and juice to blood donors. She also volunteered in Emergency Services as a receptionist doing clerical work and data entry. She began her volunteer work at the first offices and moved with the organization when they switched to the current office building at 33 Everett Road.
“Volunteering for the Red Cross has broadened my perspective on disaster services, the needs that are present in this community and how many people there are that need assistance,” said Parrott.
Parrott presently works the front desk at ARCNENY in Albany where she answers the phone, answers general questions, directs visitors and callers to the appropriate department, and completes office work when necessary.
“The best thing about volunteering is the feeling of satisfaction you get when you know that you’ve helped people in need, even if it is not a disaster or emergency, but a small problem or question I can assistance them with,” said Parrott “The Red Cross introduces you to several people and new ways of thinking when it comes to aiding the community.”
Since she is not on the forefront or assisting with major disasters, Parrott is modest about her position as a volunteer. However everything that she contributes is benefitting the community and aiding all employees who work at the ARCNENY office and its visitors.
Parrott finds volunteering rewarding and beneficial, especially here. “The American Red Cross is an organization that you know is worth volunteering for because they carry out necessary services and relief everyday, so you feel anything you can do helps even if you’re not on the front lines,” said Parrott.