Red Cross honors volunteers

Published 1:15 pm Thursday, November 22, 2012

Red Cross volunteers of the Black Belt chapter gathered for a special meal Tuesday during which they were recognized for the hard work and time they give.

When disaster strikes, these are the people who are first on the scene. Whether it is a flood, hurricane or tornado — these are the individuals that are prepared to help.

Several Red Cross volunteers were recognized for their dedication and hard work Tuesday at the Black Belt Red Cross chapter center.

Volunteers gathered for a lunch — which was sponsored by KFC, Captain D’s, and Pepsi Bottling Co. — and heard a message given by Jeff Cothran, executive director of United Way.

“You’re there after a house fire putting a blanket around someone,” Cothran said to the volunteers. “You’re the ones holding their hands.”

Thomas Wright, long time volunteer with the Black Belt Red Cross, took time to recognize a few dedicated volunteers during the lunch.

“We wouldn’t exist without all these volunteers,” Wright said. Levi Mcary, Patricia Wright, Barbara Tolbert, Diane Williamson and Fay Thompson were recognized as some of the Red Cross’s most dedicated volunteers.

“We need to recognize people making a difference in our community,” Wright said. “We don’t pay for what we do, we donate everything we can.”

Jakki Phillips, chief executive director of the Black Belt Red Cross chapter, said volunteers rarely get the chance to come together and fellowship.

“This is just a great opportunity for them all to come together and have wonderful fellowship during the season of Thanksgiving,” Phillips said. “We have a lot to be thankful for.”

While volunteers ate their meals, they talked about holiday traditions and shared a few laughs together.

“It just paints such a beautiful portrait for our community because we really need community building and relationships,” Phillips said. “We want this to be a ripple effect, we want people to see how good it feels to be a volunteer and then become one too.”

Phillips also mentioned that there will be a disaster training class Dec. 4 at 5:30 p.m. and all residents are welcome to attend.