At the Red Cross we appreciate and celebrate all volunteers, whether they have served for 10 weeks or 10 years. Today though, we are shining a volunteer spotlight on Mr. Bill Glass.
There are many things that stand out about Mr. Glass: he is a veteran who served in the US Air Force during the Korean War, he was an avid cross-country traveler with his wife, he was a jewelry salesman for 35 years, currently he holds both his real estate and insurance licenses, and—he is 90 years old!
Mr. Glass recently joined the volunteer team at the Red Cross as a Disaster Action Team (DAT) volunteer. DAT is comprised of volunteers who respond to local emergencies to help meet the immediate needs of affected individuals and families, such as lodging, food, clothing, and emotional support.
As a DAT Duty Officer, Mr. Glass receives a phone call from Headquarters notifying him of an emergency. First, he verifies that indeed there is an emergency. Afterwards, Mr. Glass mobilizes DAT members who are on-call to respond to the emergency (often a home or apartment fire). Mr. Glass also follows up with the affected parties to ensure their immediate emergency needs have been met.
This type of volunteer work requires a certain comfort-level navigating the Red Cross’ internal volunteer database. But Mr. Glass happily accepted the challenge. In fact, he is very comfortable with technology—and if something happened to either his laptop or his smart phone, he admits he would lose touch with many important friends.
Though Mr. Bill joined as an official volunteer only a few months ago, his involvement with the Red Cross goes back 70 years. At the age of 20 a neighbor needed a blood transfusion, and though his blood type was not a match for his neighbor, Mr. Bill gave an honorary donation to show his support. That practice was the beginning of a life-long commitment to helping others in need and today, by his estimates, he has donated at least 25 gallons of blood.
When asked what prompted him to sign-up as a volunteer, Bill simply responded, “I figured I could be of some help, so I reached out.”
We’re glad he did!
To get more information on how to join the Red Cross as a volunteer, visit Redcross.org/volunteer.