Tuesday, June 13, 2017

East Tennessee Volunteer Spotlight, Mary and Francis “Fritz” Walker - June 2017

This month I wanted to spotlight two volunteers in the East Tennessee Chapter. Mary and Francis “Fritz” Walker are two volunteers that make this chapter function. They are a “powerhouse” at home as the sweetest couple and they are a “powerhouse” at the chapter doing every job there is to do.

Mary has been a volunteer with the East Tennessee Chapter since 2015. She holds a position in disaster as a disaster responder with a concentration in casework, Fire Safety House, the Pillowcase Project, and staff services. She is also the lead engagement volunteer for disaster and is responsible for engaging and on-boarding volunteers that are new to the chapter and this line of service.

She selflessly takes the time every month to cook for 100 attendees of the “All Disaster” meeting, then stays until it is over to clean up afterwards. All the while, she has a smile on her face. Mary has deployed four times, with the most recent being the East Tennessee Wildfires in Gatlinburg where she was a pivotal part of staff services and the success they had.

Mary jumps in whenever it is needed, whether it is a disaster response and the days are 12-14 hours long, or on a “day off” when she had other plans. I know that she is one of the most selfless volunteers that we have and is always looking out for others.

And then there is Fritz….

Fritz also has been a volunteer with the East TN Chapter since 2015 along with his wife, Mary. He holds a position of disaster responder, with a concentration in emergency response vehicle driving, logistics, mass care, disaster action team, and Home Fire Campaign. He is always even keeled and there is nothing that gets him stressed or worked up, not even a disaster response.

Fritz has deployed seven times since becoming a volunteer and has made an amazing impact each time.

If disasters are not enough to keep him busy, he comes to the chapter to do any and all sorts of maintenance.  He is crucial in the painting of our building, removing wallpaper, fixing whatever is broken and problem solving when needed. He always has a smile on his face and makes it a point to say “hello” to everyone around.

I can’t say enough about these two volunteers and all they do for the East Tennessee American Red Cross. All I know is that my day is better the moment they come through the door.  I am proud to call them volunteers, but even more privileged to call them friends.

Kristin Manuel
Sr. Volunteer Services Specialist

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