Tom Shands began his journey with the American Red Cross back in 1976.
"Tom is one of those people you just want to be like," said Phillip Iman, a chapter disaster specialist who works with Shands on Red Cross business. "Tom has been a Health & Safety instructor, a Disaster Action Team (DAT) member, a shelter manager, a disaster instructor, a liaison and, maybe most importantly, an example and mentor for others to follow."
Iman said many people have benefited from Shand’s unique ability to relay the message in his heart, from teaching others how to preserve a life to sharing how to set up and run a shelter for displaced people.
"If you listen, you can feel the compassion and experience exuding from his words," Iman said. "When we call Tom to ask if he can meet with a client, he never hesitates," Iman said. Shands puts his life to the side and is ready to serve others instantly.
"Whether it’s a person who lost their home to fire or the need is to open a shelter, Tom is there with his calm and collected demeanor and desire to help them through this crisis," Iman said. "For those of us fortunate enough to serve beside Tom we have all learned much. From his thoughtful input at meetings to his diligent efforts to meet the client’s needs, Tom sets the bar high for all of us to follow."