The American Red Cross of Tompkins County named Istvan Tamas as Volunteer of the Month for July 2013 and Norbert McCloskey as Volunteer of the Month for August 2013. The Volunteer of the Month program, sponsored by Dunkin’ Donuts, recognizes dedicated Red Cross volunteers for their hard work and commitment.
Istvan has volunteered with the Red Cross of Tompkins County for nearly 20 years. He became interested in the Red Cross when Hurricane Marilyn struck St. Thomas in 1995. The storm severely damaged the island’s electrical and telephone systems and left hundreds homeless. Istvan was shocked by the damage and wanted to help by utilizing the skills he learned working for a telephone company. He visited the Red Cross office in Ithaca, where he quickly became a trained member of the Disaster Action Team (DAT).
As a member of DAT, Istvan is on-call one week a month to respond to local disasters such as house fires. Istvan provides families who are displaced from their homes with comfort and immediate assistance, including shelter, food and clothing.
Originally from Hungary, Istvan moved to Ithaca about 25 years ago. He currently works part-time for a taxi company and is looking forward to retiring soon so he can travel and continue his volunteer work with the Red Cross.
Norbert (in photo) started volunteering for the Red Cross in March 2013. Since becoming a volunteer, he has served at the Red Cross Friendship Center, Food Pantry and with Disaster Preparedness Outreach. Norb’s enthusiasm, reliability, and willingness to jump into whatever project needs to be done have made him a highly valued member of the Red Cross team.
Having lived in Florida, Texas, Louisiana, and New York, Norb has experienced his share of natural disasters that were followed by a Red Cross response. With this in mind, Norb sought volunteering for the Red Cross upon as a way to serve his new community.
Norb is originally from Lewisburg, Pa., where he served as an executive director for a local non-profit organization that provided local, state and federally funded public health services throughout a 13-county region. After retiring from that position in 2012, he and his wife relocated to Ithaca. Norb plans to continue his work at the Red Cross while seeking additional opportunities and activities that will help and strengthen the Tompkins County community.
The American Red Cross of Tompkins County is privileged to have such dedicated volunteers as Istvan and Norb. Volunteers like Istvan and Norb make up about 95 percent the Red Cross workforce in the county.
Dunkin’ Donuts has generously supplied nine Red Cross chapters and branches throughout Northern and Central New York with gift cards to distribute monthly to deserving volunteers. Recipients receive a $25 gift card as a token of appreciation for his or her volunteer service.