Red Cross volunteers love helping people

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 20, 2003

Suffolk News-Herald

They don’t do it for the glory, and they certainly don’t do it for the pay, but three Red Cross volunteers are the first to admit, they do it for their own benefit.

&uot;I do it… volunteer, because I love helping people,&uot; was the general consensus voiced by Suffolk Chapter Red Cross volunteers Mary Anne Barnes, Sonny Wiggins, and Larry Lowder.

Email newsletter signup

All three volunteers also claim that while there is no monetary benefit in serving as a Red Cross volunteer, they gain much more than money could ever provide.

Wiggins, emergency services disaster coordinator, has a day job with U-Haul but most enjoys his volunteer service to the Red Cross in Suffolk.

&uot;I enjoy helping people… it’s very gratifying work and such a sense of fulfillment,&uot; said Wiggins. &uot;One of the best incidents that I saw take place during the hurricane was that a Whaleyville resident with a breathing apparatus needed a generator to help him live. I got to take it to him. He was so grateful…That was great.&uot;

Lowder, a member of the Red Cross Disaster Action Team, volunteers because he learned of the need while still a fire fighter.

Born and raised on Saratoga Street in Downtown Suffolk, Barnes has been a pre-school teacher for 15 years at Main Street Day Care Center.

&uot;Helping with the Red Cross is a great way to reach out to meet your neighbors in a time of need,&uot; said Barnes. &uot;I enjoy helping because you never know when you might need help yourself. To me, it’s a continuing outlet of our Christian faith and that’s what my standards are based upon.&uot;

Barnes has volunteered with the Suffolk Red Cross for 17 years. She’s done everything from working Blood Mobiles to &uot;Kid Care Projects,&uot; but it was during Hurricane Isabel that she faced a great challenge; helping the senior citizens of Suffolk Towers on Main Street.

For information on how to become a Red Cross volunteer for the Suffolk Chapter, call Faye G. Byrum at 539-6645.