Helping Hands

Volunteer receives award for Red Cross service

Volunteer receives award for Red Cross service

September 28, 2006

Name: Kathlene "Kate" Pound

Age: 83

Address: Hagerstown

Occupation: Retired in 1985 from the Washington County Board of Education, where she worked for 31 years. She worked as the secretary to the deputy superintendent.

Where do you volunteer?: Homewood at Williamsport, Christ's Reformed Church and the Washington County Chapter of the American Red Cross. She has been a Red Cross volunteer for 21 years and earlier this month received the organization's Beulah T. Meyers Award for Humanitarian Service, the highest award possible for a Red Cross volunteer.

At the Red Cross every Monday Pound writes receipts for money that comes into the office, makes bank deposits and handles receptionist duties. During Hurricane Katrina she logged, by hand, the majority of more than $250,000 in donations received.


What prompted you to begin volunteering?: After retiring from the Board of Education on July 1, 1985, Pound planned to take the summer off and then begin volunteering for the Red Cross.

An unexpected call from the Red Cross' volunteer coordinator found her there sooner than planned.

"I was up at the Red Cross on August the first so I didn't get my summer off," she said.

What Impact has volunteering had on your life?: Pound said there's a benefit to knowing she has to be at the Red Cross office every Monday morning.

"That sets my pace for the week," she said.

She said sitting at home was not an option for her after she retired.

"I cannot just sit. I do not watch television during the day and (watch) very little at night and I have to have something to do," she said.

Meeting people with the different organizations to which she gives her time is another benefit, she said.

"You just forge more friendships than if you sit at home and did nothing," she said.

What advice do you have for prospective volunteers?: Do it, she said. "It's worth every minute. And when you leave here," she said of the Red Cross, "you have such a good feeling."

Does the agency for which you volunteer need additional help. If so, in what areas? The Red Cross is a volunteer-led organization, said Julie M. Barr-Strasburg, executive director of the Washington County Chapter.

"The volunteer efforts are vital to what we do," she said.

Volunteers are needed to help at blood drives, to help with disaster relief by assisting families displaced by fires and to work with staff aides in the organization's Hagerstown office. Retired teachers are needed to teach baby-sitting courses, Barr-Strasburg said.

Who can prospective volunteers contact for more information? Call the Hagerstown office at 301-739-0717

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