Stark and Muskingum Lakes Volunteer Proudly Delivers Great Service
By Doug Bardwell, American Red Cross volunteer
Q: So how do you deliver great service to a four-county area?
A: With great volunteers, that’s how.
One of the best, according to Kim Kroh, Executive Director of Stark County & Muskingum Lakes Chapter is volunteer Rich Rock. A volunteer who just received his 10-year pin, Rich does it all. “He is a Godsend. We’d be out of luck without him,” says Kim.
Sometime, more than 10 years ago, a lifetime friend of Rich’s, who had moved to Texas, mentioned his volunteer efforts with the Red Cross there, and suggested that Rich would probably enjoy volunteering as well. They had grown up together, enjoyed similar interests, and enjoyed serving the community, so Rich took his advice and signed up. His friend was right, and Rich is still serving.
Rich is a DAT (Disaster Action Team) member as well as a general volunteer, distributing emergency preparedness kits at the mall in New Philadelphia on Preparedness Day.
In addition, Rich also installs smoke alarms during the chapter’s home fire safety and smoke alarm installation events.
Working as a DAT member, covering multiple fires and other catastrophes, he says he is always touched when he sees a family that has lost literally everything. “It is heartbreaking to see,” says Rich.
He still recalls an event where the husband and wife had a major fire, not losing everything, but a significant loss nevertheless. By the time Rich arrived on scene, the husband had taken the car to run an errand. After spending quite some time talking with the overly stressed-out wife, he said he began to feel that they were making a personal connection.
When the husband returned, Rich made a tongue-in-cheek comment about the woman’s emotional state, at which the husband was taken aback. Starting to laugh, the wife said, “Oh, don’t worry, that’s what I need now more than anything, just a chance to laugh about this horrific incident.” Group hugs ensued, and Rich left feeling that he had made another good connection with the community.
“Those are the things that stick with you, and make you feel that it’s worth the effort,” says Rich.
If you like helping the community, do as Rich did, and VOLUNTEER. You can start the process here.