With encouragement from her daughter, who was an American Red Cross volunteer, Thelma DiMaria joined the American Red Cross Santa Clara Valley Chapter in 1982 at the age of 63.
Since then, DiMaria has been involved in disaster relief work as a key member of the local Red Cross Chapter. She has helped in California, 11 other states and American Samoa after they suffered a major hurricane.
Besides providing her time and skills to the American Red Cross in the field as a disaster relief worker, Thelma has accrued many years of service with the American Red Cross as a devoted Volunteer Coordinator in the Chapter’s office. Thelma has spent at least one day a week in the office for the past several years, helping to coordinate the intake of volunteers, recording of volunteers’ hours and maintaining of volunteer class schedules; as well as conducting volunteer interviews and promoting volunteer recognition. One of the many extraordinary elements to Thelma’s work is that she actively memorizes the names of each and every volunteer and goes out of her way to help them feel included in the Chapter.
In addition to her Red Cross work, Thelma has also been volunteering at the Mountain View Senior Center for over 15 years and acts as an AARP Tax Aid during tax season. Thelma has been known to spend days on end helping seniors organize financial and other documents and records when they are not able to do it themselves. She has personally gone into the homes of individuals to discuss support group options for Alzheimer’s patients and their families and encourages seniors to take advantage of specials services offered by the government as well as non-profit groups in the area. She is also well-known for her award-winning persimmon cookies.