February, 1964. The Beatles wrapped up their first visit to the United States. Austria hosted the Winter Olympics. And Jeannette Chapman became a volunteer for the American Red Cross.
The organization needed a driver to shuttle its volunteers from the office to the VA hospital, and Jeannette took on the role. But instead of waiting while the volunteers completed their work, she decided to volunteer in the Occupational Therapy Clinic, painting woodworking projects and helping with leather crafts.
More than 50 years and 11,225 volunteer hours later, Jeannette is still volunteering at the VA, bringing cheer to the inpatient veterans.
Working alongside Jeannette, Ann Guild has served as a Red Cross volunteer since 1971. Like Jeannette, Ann is passionate about caring for and bringing joy to the veterans she serves, and has been an instrumental part of the team, primarily recently serving the inpatient veterans. Ann has logged more than 7,850 hours to help VA staff care for our veterans.
“Volunteers are the lifeblood of the Red Cross,” says Patricia Murtagh, CEO of the American Red Cross in Maine. “Jeanette and Ann epitomize what the volunteer spirit is all about, in both the time they’ve served as well as the compassion they bring to their roles.”
The two long-time volunteers will be honored this week with the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award, presented to volunteers who have logged more than 4,000 hours. The Presidential Volunteer Service Awards recognize and celebrate community leaders and volunteers, and seek to encourage more individuals to embody the spirit of volunteerism.