He is dedicated, witty, and laid back. Before his first deployment, he was warned there may be some hardships, and would be sleeping on a cot. Taylor laughs, “Sleeping on a cot isn’t a hardship, that’s camping!” He says you need a sense of humor or you’ll never make it.
Steve Taylor recently won the Glassberg Award through the Red Cross of Snohomish County at the Volunteer Appreciation event; but he was not even there to receive it. Instead, Taylor has been in Texas for a month doing relief work after intensive flooding. The Glassberg award was named after the Glassberg family who had members serving on the board, as dedicated volunteers, and as the Executive Director from 1974 – 1985. It is given yearly to honor outstanding volunteer service and longevity.
Taylor is a man who has put in 900 days of service – which equates to over four work years. Since joining in 2005, Taylor has participated on over 38 deployments, says Volunteer Coordinator Kelly Sunagel, from Florida to Pennsylvania, to Texas and Alaska. He’s served in a range of disasters, from raging fires, floods, tornados and hurricanes, he’s done it all. He has also been here in times of disaster including the Washington landslide.
Taylor recounts sitting at home in Gold Bar watching the television coverage from Hurricane Katrina, and feeling upset as everyone flocked to New Orleans when the hurricane devastated Mississippi. He says, next thing he knew, he was in Mississippi for the next two and a half months. He went down with an open mind and has been with the Red Cross ever since. When asked why he spends so much time volunteering, Taylor says, “I do it cause the need’s there. Someone’s got to.”
The best thing about the Red Cross is all the people you get to know. Taylor says, “The Red Cross is the largest family you’ll ever meet.” When on deployment the volunteers come together like a family for a few weeks; you live together, work together, and then don’t see each other for a few years. When you do see someone again on another deployment, Taylor says it’s like a reunion.
Even though he wasn’t present for the Volunteer Appreciation Event, Taylor is loyal to his chapter. He has lived in Snohomish County much of his life. Of his home chapter Taylor says it’s a good chapter to work for, and if he was in another chapter he might not have lasted so long.
Sunagel says, “If you need to know how to do something, ask Steve. Along with helping in times of disaster, he is here in the chapter two times a week making sure everything runs smooth and he does it all with a positive attitude – we know the daily operations of the chapter are not the same adrenaline pumping times of deployments, but Steve loves being in the chapter and working in “blue skies” just as much and it shows.”