By Shoba Brown
American Red Cross
If you ask Peggy Gaines how long she been volunteering with the American Red Cross, she comes back with a snappy “Twelve years. Since 2008, Hurricane Ike!” If you ask Peggy Gaines why the Red Cross, she will simply say, “My Dad was a medic in the Army and talked about the Red Cross.” So, when Peggy retired after a thirty-one year teaching career, volunteering with the Red Cross was an easy choice, and she has not looked back since.
Peggy has this strong “desire to help people” in her community. As a retired teacher, Peggy often runs into former students and the floods this July has been one such occasion. While helping with sheltering, feeding and distributing essential supplies, she ran into a former 7th grade student. “Oh yes, I remember you Ms. Gaines,” said this young man when asked. What a comforting moment for both student and teacher. One trying to survive the ravages of the flood, the other concerned and trying to help. Volunteering during this flood has become a personal endeavor and Peggy is making every effort to let the south end St. Joseph community know that the American Red Cross emergency assistance is available to everyone in need.
Peggy Gaines and community volunteers like her are the backbone of any volunteer organization. Peggy and her fellow community volunteers are the backbone of the American Red Cross in St. Joseph, Missouri.