Richard and Diana Mitchell are some of the American Red Cross of Central and Western Oklahoma’s most dedicated volunteers. Since beginning volunteering in January 2011, after seeing an ad in the local paper for a damage assessment class, the Mitchells have been taking classes, meeting new people, and doing new things all for the Red Cross in their spare time.
Based out of Enid, the Mitchells are willing to travel all over the state in order to help out with various events. This month they attended three events in one week alone; the Renaissance Fair in Norman, the rodeo in Oklahoma City, and the spaghetti dinner open house in Blackwell.
When asked why they were so busy that week, Richard responded that they had wanted to go to the Renaissance Fair and the rodeo anyway, and that they got to drive the ERV to Blackwell. “I like meeting new people,” he said. “It gives us something to do and still help people.”
Since they are retired, Richard and Diana enjoy volunteering because it keeps them busy. Just last week, they went around neighborhoods in Woodward handing out tornado prep kits to residents. Last month, they went to the state capitol to meet Oklahoma representatives and hand out information at the Capitol Day event. This week, they plan on attending the Arts Festival in Oklahoma City.
The Mitchells have even gone down to Corpus Christi, Texas for a five day training session involving shelter logistics, forklift training, and kitchen organization. They said it was a great experience because they got to, “meet other volunteers from Norman, Stroud, and Woodward who were doing the same things.”
Learning new skills and doing new things were how the Mitchells got started with the Red Cross in the first place. They recommend becoming a Red Cross volunteer to all retirees since you get to help people, there’s always something to do, and according to Richard, “there’s always food!”
The Red Cross depends on volunteers to help it perform its mission. In fact, 96 percent of the Red Cross workforce across the county is made up of volunteers.