On June 22, 2016, the Solano County Red Cross team lost a dear friend and fellow Red Cross volunteer, Gloria Lee Woods.
A beloved volunteer, Woods originally joined the Red Cross as a Gray Lady in France in 1957, acting as a hostess and providing services to wounded soldiers in military hospitals for two years before coming back to the United States. After Lee's husband, "Woody," was reassigned to Travis Air Force Base, she and her husband's large family settled in Fairfield. With the family having later moving to nearby Vacaville, Woods stayed connected with the Red Cross through intermittent involvement.
But by 1999, Woods decided the time was right to become a full-fledged member of the team in Solano County.
In the years that followed, she held many positions in support of the Red Cross. She helped support Service to the Armed Forces casework and briefings as a Station Manager at Travis Air Force Base’s Red Cross office. She also served in Disaster Services, filling critical roles as Disaster Chair, a DAT responder, and a caseworker. She was also a Community Preparedness presenter, Community Events volunteer, and Leadership Council member.
In addition to keeping up with her numerous everyday tasks for the organization, Woods found time to deploy regionally and nationally for the Red Cross as part of many major responses, including 9/11, Superstorm Sandy, and the Colorado floods of 2013. And during Hurricane Katrina, she provided support to the local chapter by handling In-Kind and Financial donations at the Red Cross's Fairfield office; she also supported numerous new volunteers during those challenging times.
A fiercely loyal and devoted volunteer, Woods sustained her commitment and devotion to the Red Cross mission even as the organization was transitioning through years of change.
"Those who had the good fortune to know Lee will forever miss her hearty laugh and indomitable spirit," says Debbie Yee, Red Cross Disaster Program Manager for Solano, Napa, and Lake Counties. “We've lost an absolute angel on earth and an incredible friend."
Though Gloria Lee Woods, 86, passed away before this profile was completed, we decided to post Lee's story on the Red Cross web site in honor of her many years of dedicated service as a volunteer.
At the joint Napa and Solano Counties Volunteer Recognition Event in April 2016, two months before she died, Lee Woods was given the Red Cross's Clara Barton Award. The highest honor the American Red Cross bestows on volunteers, the award recognizes meritorious service in volunteer leadership positions held over a period of years.