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National Volunteer week is April 7th – April 13th, which means a lot to us at the American Red Cross because volunteers make up 90 percent of our workforce! Our volunteers are the true muscle behind the Red Cross. With endless compassion and dedication, Red Cross volunteers give us the valuable gift of their time as they help us achieve our mission day in and day out. That is why we wanted to highlight two volunteers from our Eastern Pennsylvania Region every day this Monday through Friday. 

Yindra Stanley is a Blood Donor Ambassador who has volunteered with the Red Cross for 11 years, and was nominated by Cherita Early, who had this to say about Yindra:

“In the four years I have worked with Yindra, I can say she is very committed to the Red Cross Mission and follows through on her dedication for being a Donor Ambassador. 

Yindra is a full time social worker who works overnight, but MUST work her two blood drives per month.  This commitment is hard for anyone, but especially a full-time employee who works overnight.  She usually goes to her drives directly from work before she gets sleep.

Recently, Yindra had a knee surgery that required her to go from the hospital to a rehab facility.  She was able to leave rehab on a walker for outings.  She left her rehab to attend a volunteer refresher training in November, less than two weeks after her procedure.  While she was home recovering, she continued to work blood drives….more since she had the time.   

On the morning of January 18th, we had a pretty significant snow event.  Yindra was schedule for a self-contained blood drive.  This drive happens on a bus and must have a volunteer to run.  Yindra did not call me to say she couldn’t make it to the drive.  With her cast still on and under a doctor’s care, she honored her commitment to be at the drive.  She took an Uber in the snow from her home in Delaware County to University City in Philadelphia County.  I offered to pay for her Uber, but she refused my help.

If you look at Yindra’s hours you may think so many more volunteers clock more time, but she honors her 2 drive commitment and is disappointed when there are no drives available some months to fit her schedule.   I appreciate her time and devotion to our mission and her heroic work while she was in a cast and on a walker or cane.” 

Thank you, Yindra!

National Volunteer week is April 7th – April 13th, which means a lot to us at the American Red Cross because volunteers make up 90 percent of our workforce! Our volunteers are the true muscle behind the Red Cross. With endless compassion and dedication, Red Cross volunteers give us the valuable gift of their time as they help us achieve our mission day in and day out. That is why we wanted to highlight two volunteers from our Eastern Pennsylvania Region every day this Monday through Friday. 

When many people think of the Red Cross, they think about the disaster work the organization does. What people don’t realize is that disaster work happens day in and day out because of the pervasiveness of home fires, and it’s thanks to our volunteers that the Red Cross is able to respond to every fire where our assistance is requested. This is the kind of work that volunteer Edgar “Lee” Graef does with vigor, and part of the reason he was nominated for this Volunteers Spotlight by Disaster Program Supervisor Andrea Ritter. Here’s what Andrea had to say about Edgar: 

Edgar “Lee” Graef, right.

“Lee Graef  first walked into the American Red Cross in 2013. He has been working with the American Red Cross for more than six years where he has impacted so many lives. When asked what does volunteering for the American Red Cross mean to him he said, “The opportunity to help others going through a rough time. People who do not know where to turn.” 

Graef expressed the importance of people being knowledgeable of what the American Red Cross does. He believes that a lot of people don’t know where to turn, and he wants people to know that we are ready to help in the face of any disaster. Graef originally got involved because of his daughter who is also an American Red Cross volunteer. One day while visiting his daughter at the American Red Cross office Graef was asked if he wanted to volunteer, being a retired veteran, he said yes. Graef  gets overall satisfaction from volunteering, he loves being able to help and have people count on him. When asked why might you invite others to volunteer within the American Red Cross Graef  Responded “We are needed. We are very short-handed and to get more people involved in our area is important.” 

Graef not only responds to every fire in Wayne County where clients are in need of lodging and/or financial assistance, he also responds to any fire fighter canteening service requests, whether it is 65 degrees or 5 degrees outside. Graef is also always willing to help other chapters within the Region as needed such as fire responses in Susquehanna and Wyoming County.  Graef is dependable, motivated, and dedicated. He serves the Red Cross mission with compassion always willing and always ready.  Thank you, Lee, for all you do!

By: Michele Baehr

National Volunteer week is April 7th – April 13th, which means a lot to us at the American Red Cross because volunteers make up 90 percent of our workforce! Our volunteers are the true muscle behind the Red Cross. With endless compassion and dedication, Red Cross volunteers give us the valuable gift of their time as they help us achieve our mission day in and day out. That is why we wanted to highlight two volunteers from our Eastern Pennsylvania Region every day this Monday through Friday. 

Ernie Roundtree is a Blood Donor Ambassador and an Operations Volunteer. Whatever we ask him to do or help with, he is always happy to do so with a smile and positive attitude. Ernie does everything around the chapter – receptionist, making packets for events, cleaning off cars, and the list goes on. According to Ernie, his favorite thing about volunteering is, “Meeting people and sharing good hospitality to people at the blood drives, entering the office and sharing my smile with the office.”

Ernie Roundtree

Ernie said he felt a calling from ‘the man upstairs’ to donate his time to the American Red Cross, something he has now done for the last two years.

“I have an intellectual disability didn’t let it stop me from giving back. It makes me feel blessed to work with all the volunteers I encounter,” Ernie said.

Volunteers like Ernie are indispensable to the work we do at the American Red Cross and this spotlight is a small way for us to say, thank you for sharing your positivity with us!

National Volunteer week is April 7th – April 13th, which means a lot to us at the American Red Cross because volunteers make up 90 percent of our workforce! Our volunteers are the true muscle behind the Red Cross. With endless compassion and dedication, Red Cross volunteers give us the valuable gift of their time as they help us achieve our mission day in and day out. That is why we wanted to highlight two volunteers from our Eastern Pennsylvania Region every day this Monday through Friday. 

Lynn Muchler-Stash wears many hats, including Disaster Action Team Member, Pillowcase Project Lead, Sound the Alarm Team Member, Community Outreach Team Member, and Regional Orientation Facilitator. She has been an American Red Cross volunteer since June of 2013 and was nominated for this spotlight by Bill Goldsworthy, Executive Director at the NEPA Chapter. Here’s what Bill said about Lynn:

“Lynn is a member of our Disaster Action Team and our Lead Pillowcase Presenter. She has trained more than 2,300 students in our area last year in the Pillowcase Project, and has trained around 10,000 students in total. Lynn even deployed the last two years to help out at major disasters. She frequently responds to the call when a disaster strikes.  She takes her role very seriously and spends a lot of administrative time making calls, setting up appointments and getting the materials together for her presentations. She’s very valuable to our workforce and we are lucky to have her!” 

National Volunteer week is April 7th – April 13th, which means a lot to us at the American Red Cross because volunteers make up 90 percent of our workforce! Our volunteers are the true muscle behind the Red Cross. With endless compassion and dedication, Red Cross volunteers give us the valuable gift of their time as they help us achieve our mission day in and day out. That is why we wanted to highlight two volunteers from our Eastern Pennsylvania Region every day this Monday through Friday. 

Bill Goldsworthy, Executive Director for the NEPA Chapter nominated volunteer, Kate Crowley, who is a Mass Care Regional Program Lead and Regional Training Lead, to be recognized in this volunteer spotlight. Here’s what Bill said about Kate, who has been an American Red Cross Volunteer since 2008: 

“Kate is the ideal volunteer. She is constantly giving of her time and talent to our organization. In addition to several formal titles and jobs that she performs for our region, she has been known to give up vacation plans at the last minute to be deployed (along with her husband).  She is our “go-to gal” for thoughtful insight and for logical execution of programs and plans. On top of all that she does administratively, she continues to be our main responder to fire calls that come in from Wyoming County. Our region would not be as great without her! ”

Kate Crowley (right) standing with her husband in front of a Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicle

Question and answer with Kate Crowley: 

Why do you volunteer with the Red Cross? I get a lot of satisfaction out of giving back to the community and helping others locally and on deployment. I’ve lived a blessed life, this is my way of paying it forward. 

Why is your work important to your community? Everything I focus on is to make sure that we are as ready as we can possibly be for a disaster. Whether, training volunteers and staff how to run a shelter, or making sure that we have people in positions that can lead mass care activities in their chapter, I want us to be able to provide the best service to communities when a disaster hits.  In 2011, my little town was hit by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee within 10 days of each other. In my current leadership role, I want to make a bigger impact to ensure we are ready when it happens again, and we know it will happen again. 

What is your favorite part about what you do? My favorite part about volunteering is seeing a new volunteer deploy for the first time.  I love seeing how excited they are as I remember how excited I was when I deployed for the first time to Colorado.”   

By: AJ Suero

Nearly every second of every day, the American Red Cross is needed—to provide a warm blanket to home fire victims, to ensure life-saving blood is available to a mother giving birth, and to arm communities and individuals with preparedness training. We secure food and lodging for the family struck by a home fire. We help a deployed soldier get home for the birth of his baby. We give the child who has lost everything the immediate psychological care she needs and a toy to call her own. The generosity of Ready 365 members makes a lifesaving difference for people in our community and beyond.

The following companies are proud supporters of the Ready 365 program that help the Red Cross prevent and alleviate suffering down the street, across the country and around the world 365 days a year:  

National Sponsors: The Pew Charitable Trusts, The Wawa Foundation

Platinum Sponsors: FMC, H.O. West Pharamaceuticals, IKEA, The LundyLaw Foundation, UGI Utilities

Gold Sponsors: Asplundh, CHUBB, PECO, PPL Electric

Bronze Sponsors: Air Products and Chemicals, B.Braun, Fred Beans, Highmark, Lincoln Financial Foundation, State Farm, The Fresh Grocer, Victaulic

Across the country, nearly 330,000 volunteers and over 23,000 employees of the American Red Cross work to ensure those in need receive the care and comfort they deserve. This simply would not be possible without the support of our Ready 365 partners. They value the local impact and global reach of the Red Cross; they want to deepen their commitment to our mission; and they are ready to help save lives every day of the year. For more, visit: https://www.redcross.org/local/pennsylvania/eastern-pennsylvania/about-us/community-partners.html

By: Sophie Kluthe

Every day, local families rely on the support of neighbors who volunteer with the American Red Cross. These community heroes give comfort and hope in times of crisis—most often, when a fire burns a family’s home.

Home fires account for most of the disasters that our teams respond to in Eastern Pennsylvania. Sadly, these emergencies also take seven lives each day in the U.S.—most often, in homes without working smoke alarms. Working smoke alarms greatly reduce the risk of death from a home fire, which is why we work so hard to impact as many homes as possible with our Sound the Alarm, Save a Life events, part of the Home Fire Campaign. We are in the middle of our 10 event stretch, reaching from Philadelphia all the way up to Honesdale in Wayne County.

During Sound the Alarm events, volunteers will team with local fire departments and other community partners to canvass neighborhoods, install free smoke alarms, replace alarm batteries and help families create home fire escape plans. Services are free and available for all people in need. Events are as follows, with details and registration now open at SoundTheAlarm.org/EasternPA:

  • April 27, Allentown, Lehigh County
  • April 27, Swedesburg, Montgomery County
  • April 28, Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County
  • May 3, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County
  • May 4, Honesdale, Wayne County
  • May 4, Kunkletown, Monroe County
  • May 11, Bethlehem Twp., Northampton County
  • May 11, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County
  • May 11, Phoenixville, Chester County
  • May 18, Tremont, Schuylkill County

With 10 regional events, it’s fitting that we have 10 sponsors supporting our efforts this year!

We are honored to work with so many companies that are dedicated to giving back to their communities. Among those are Airbnb, Delta, FEMA, The Fresh Grocer, Nissan, Sanofi, State Farm, the Triumph Group, UGI, and Wawa. While our volunteers provide the muscle to physically install life-saving smoke alarms, none of this would be possible without the generous donations from our sponsors, many of which also send teams of employees to volunteer.

Thank you for being partners and friends of the American Red Cross, Eastern Pennsylvania Region!