On Saturday, June 4, I was honored to stand before a group of people who have become my heroes over the past year and a half at our Annual Volunteer Appreciation event. We have a group of over 400 volunteers ready to spring into action all the way down to the Alabama state line. Everyone brings something new to the table here at the Tennessee River Chapter - every personality is unique and our volunteers are dedicated, and ready to pass on the mission of the Red Cross. Although we could never fully repay them for everything they do and the joy that they bring to the faces of those in need, we honored them with things like t-shirts, cups, caps, mugs and plaques at our appreciation event. How small that was in comparison to the smiles they put back on the faces of someone who went to bed with a plan for the future only to face the dawn having lost everything.
What makes our volunteers unique? What could possibly make them want to get out of bed in the middle of the night when their phone rings? They go out in the rain, wind or snow to help out a complete stranger…why? I think I may know the answer….it’s a little four letter word…love! Love for their neighbors; love for this mission of making sure anyone affected by a disaster has a start toward a new beginning. Giving out love and hope for tomorrow is the greatest gift that you can give anyone and our dedicated group of men and women are some of the best trained volunteers in the state of Tennessee.
So to all of you that serve, all of you that give of your time, treasure or talent, I honor you and your commitment to a chapter that will celebrate our 100th year in 2017. Your hearts is beat loud and clear at the Tennessee River Chapter, and it is quite an honor to be working alongside each of you!