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Volunteer wins Red Cross Beulah T. Meyers Award

Kate Pound

Kate Pound

April 29, 2007|by TAMELA BAKER

HALFWAY - Even at 84, Kate Pound is as busy as that Energizer bunny.

She had trouble scheduling around her volunteer work even to sit down for this interview.

"I went into volunteer work because I am not a television watcher, and I have to be busy," she said during a conversation in her Halfway home.

"I retired July 1 (1985) and was gonna take the whole summer off," Pound recalls. "I showed up at the Red Cross in August."

Last fall, Pound was honored with the Beulah T. Meyers Award for Humanitarian Service, the highest award for a Red Cross volunteer, for her 21 years of service.

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And she still reports for duty on Monday mornings.

"I liked office work - that is what I did for the Red Cross," Pound said.

She still writes all the receipts and makes the organization's bank deposits.

"It's nice that they trust me," she said.

That's on Monday morning.

But as her week progresses, Pound also volunteers as a clerk in the Mitten Shop at Homewood Retirement Center in Williamsport, where she also serves as auxiliary treasurer; and at her church, Christ's Reformed, where she works on the church's newsletter.

Her favorite part of volunteering, she says, "is getting out with people."

Despite her volunteer record, Pound was stunned when she got the Red Cross award.

"It had never been given to an office aide before," she said.

When she was asked to give an acceptance speech, she said, "it was like going to the Oscars and not being prepared."

Still, she said, "I was not the least bit nervous."

Before her retirement, Pound had worked 31 years for the Board of Education - first part time, then full time after her husband's unexpected death, ultimately as the deputy superintendent's secretary.

And there was actually a time when she thought it might be good to take a break.

"The closer I got to retiring, the better the retirement pension looked," she said. "At 30 years, I was at burnout."

That didn't last long.

A lover of antiques, she also enjoys having lunch with friends and antiquing with family members.

"I have a very supportive family" of nieces, nephews and great-nieces in Cascade and Thurmont, Md., she said. "We're a very close family."

Now there aren't always enough hours to do everything she's asked.

"At church they ask me to do more and more, and I've learned to say 'my plate is full.'"

Nevertheless, "if you have extra time and can volunteer, it is one of the best things and one of the most rewarding things you can do," she said.




Q&A



Name: Kate Pound

Hometown: Halfway

Occupation: Retired since 1985 from the Washington County Board of Education

What was your proudest moment?: Receiving the Red Cross award

Whom do you most admire, and why?: Hillary Clinton. "I just always liked her. I think Hillary has done a lot to improve the status of women."

What is the best piece of advice you ever received and who gave it to you?: "I would just quote from the Bible, saying 'Do unto others as you would have others do unto you,' which is the best piece of advice you could get."

What is the next goal you would like to achieve?: "At this point in my life, I just hope that I can continue with my volunteer work for a long, long time. I really do enjoy it - and when I get out of here on Monday morning, that really kicks off my week."

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