This National Volunteer Week, April 21-27, the American Red Cross North Jersey Region celebrates our dedicated volunteers, the people in our community who put compassion into action every day.
Red Cross volunteers bring food, shelter, comfort and hope to families affected by disasters such as hurricanes and home fires. They provide services to members of the military, veterans and their families, and they support blood drives that help save lives every day. Our volunteers teach first aid, CPR, swimming, babysitting, and other lifesaving courses and staff community fairs to encourage their neighbors to learn these vital skills. They deliver meals and provide transportation to the elderly and transcribe books to Braille for blind children. It is these priceless volunteers who power the organization through their service.
We salute our volunteers and cherish their kind and caring hearts!
The following volunteers were honored for their outstanding service during Celebrate Red!, the American Red Cross of Central New Jersey’s annual event held on April 12th at Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton.
Pictured above L-R: Red Cross Regional CEO Mathieu Nelessen and Board Chair Sue Hassmiller honor volunteers Dwight Wilkinson, Marv Goodman, Kenneth Heaphy and Joyce Chang during Celebrate Red! held April 12th at Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, NJ. Not pictured: Janet George Murnick.
Marv Goodman - Superstorm Sandy Disaster Relief Operation
When asked why he joined the Red Cross, Marv said that after watching the events of 9/11 unfold on television, he vowed to get involved and do something, adding he’d never sit by and watch as people are in desperate need again.
Marv’s first deployment was to Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana where he worked in Mass Care/Feeding operations in October 2005. In 2008, he began a new and important role in Community Partnerships where he built relationships and coordinated Red Cross disaster activities with our non-governmental partners. During Superstorm Sandy, Marv was on assignment for 97 days as an External Relations Community Services Supervisor, working tirelessly to ensure that the disaster relief and recovery needs of vulnerable populations were addressed by the Red Cross and our partners.
Marv is also active in Service to the Armed Forces activities and has served on several Central New Jersey Board committees.
Ken Heaphy - Disaster Services
Ken has been an active Red Cross volunteer for 38 years. He started and spent years as a Red Cross Health and Safety instructor, adding volunteer work with Red Cross Emergency Services in 1997. As an EMT and retired school psychologist, Ken has been invaluable in developing health and mental health services in the department.
Since 2000, Ken has been deployed more than 15 times to help with disaster relief operations both in New Jersey and around the country. Ken’s relief effort deployments include Hurricane Ivan, Hurricane Katrina, the 2007 New Jersey Nor'easter, Tropical Storms Irene and Lee and most recently, Superstorm Sandy.
With Superstorm Sandy, Ken has devoted 47 days to volunteering, working with sheltering and feeding activity, followed by client case work support at the statewide Disaster Relief Operation Headquarters in North Brunswick.
Ken is also the Disaster Action Team Coordinator and a Team Leader for the disaster response function in Somerset County and has trained many volunteers in his role as an Emergency Services instructor. In addition to his work in Disaster Services, Ken is also active in Blood Services and Service to the Armed Forces.
Janet George Murnick - Service to the Armed Forces
Janet is a biophysicist and member of the American Red Cross of Central New Jersey Board of Directors. Janet joined the Red Cross in 2005 and leads many Service to the Armed Forces functions. Janet is the Veteran’s Administration Voluntary Services lead for the activities at the Lyons VA Hospital. She has been instrumental in developing and implementing many Red Cross activities to support veterans, including regular visits by Red Cross volunteers, summer picnics and the provision of comfort items.
In addition to her work with Service to the Armed Forces, Janet is also an Emergency Services volunteer. First deployed during Hurricane Katrina in 2005 as a supervisor with sheltering activities, during Superstorm Sandy, Janet worked tirelessly leading Red Cross shelter, logistics, and feeding activities in Bernardsville.
Joyce Chang - Youth Council
A senior at West Windsor Plainsboro High School South, Joyce began her volunteer work with the Red Cross during her freshmen year. Joyce is serving her second year as President of the Red Cross Club at South and is a four-year member of the Red Cross Youth Council. Joyce says she loves volunteering for the Red Cross because it provides opportunities to truly support and care for every person, part, and aspect of the local community and of the world. Joyce’s happiness and enthusiasm can’t help but be shared with those she comes in contact with.
Joyce has performed outstanding service through her leadership with many Red Cross projects and events. Joyce has also served as the Youth Council's Public Relations Chairperson and Community Outreach Lead, as well as South’s Red Cross Club Secretary and Youth Council Secretary.
Dwight Wilkinson - Community Services, Meals on Wheels
Dwight has volunteered for more than 15 years with the Red Cross Meals on Wheels program. Dwight delivers meals once a week and is a driving force with the volunteer team. When situations arise like scheduling challenges, Dwight is the team’s go-to guy. He is always ready and excited to help however he can.
Dwight has also been involved with volunteer recruitment for the meals programs and has been quite successful! He also takes his role as trainer for new volunteers seriously and is always enthusiastic. Dwight goes out of his way to take those extra steps to make a meals client’s day special. He is a treasure to the Red Cross and our community.
The American Red Cross North Jersey Region will recognize the exceptional service of the following volunteers during our May 2nd Celebrate Red! event at The Park Savoy Estate
Marty Campbell - Disaster Services
Rose Cipriano - Community Services, Braille
Richard Bente - Community Services, Braille
Sherry Clain - Superstorm Sandy Disaster Relief Operations
Jack Clemence - Blood Services
Bill and Margaret Kelly - Every Day Heroes
Congratulations to these wonderful volunteers and THANK YOU to all who give their time to help others!