The United Way of the Greater Dayton Area honors one community volunteer of the month as part of its “Live United” campaign. In March the number of honorees balloons to 18 as UW recognizes an “army” of Community Blood Center/Community Tissue Services volunteers. Sharing the award are nine couples who serve as Gift of Life courier teams.
“This is the first time the UW Volunteer Center has ever recognized volunteer teams for their volunteer of the month award,” said Volunteer Resources Manager Cissy Hansen. An announcement about the March community volunteers of the month selection and photo of five GOL courier couples wearing their “Live United” t-shirts appeared on the front page of the March 1 edition of the Dayton Daily News. It directed readers to the UW website to see a larger image of the group and a story about what they do to help CBC/CTS save and enhance lives.
The Gift of Life couriers deliver blood to 25 hospitals in CBC’s 15-county service area. They also make weekly round trips to our Indianapolis Community Tissue Center and make evening rounds to the four CBC branch sites to pick up blood.
Team Sorensen: Norm & Nancy Sorensen
The Sorensens complete weekly CBC hospital routes and make a round trip every other week to the Indianapolis tissue branch. By the way, they are proud grandparents of CBC/CTS employee Tracy Ross, QA.
Team Snyder: Jerry and Cynthia Snyder
The Snyders do weekly CBC hospital routes and a round trip every other week to the Indianapolis facility.
Team Cox: Jack & Nancy Cox
Jack Cox retired from CBC after more than 20 years, but continues to serve as driver trainer for both volunteers and CBC staff. “We do anything that’s kind of a lose end,” says Jack. He and Nancy drive the CBC suburban routes and substitute for other couriers. “Jack is a good go-to guy for anything needed,” says Cissy. “Everyone at CBC knows and loves Jack & Nancy.”
Team Kunst: Jeff and Lucia Kunst
The Kunsts are Gift of Life Couriers every week for the CBC Richmond, IN branch and Jeff also drives CBC suburban routes. They joke, “We bring all the bad weather from Richmond!” because they have seen more than their share of storms driving I-70.
Team Ball: George Ball & Ruby Wilkins
Gift of Life Courier George Ball does all the Tuesday and Thursday evening CBC Middletown routes as well as the CBC West Chester route on Saturday. Ruby joins him most of the time.
Team Fecke: Mary Ann & John Fecke
The Feckes courier all hospital routes every week. Mary Ann told Cissy, “Before we deliver our blood to the hospital we take a moment to pray for the good health of the people who will receive it.”
Team Slocum: Tom & Brenda Slocum
The Slocums both work full time, but manage to handle the Middletown routes every other week.
Team Minch: Mark & Denise Minch
The Minches do suburban route pick-ups and also volunteer as substitute drivers for the Indy routes.
Team Spinola: Sal & Lidyann Spinola
Sal is courier to all CBC hospital routes every week. Lidyann is a Guest Relations Ambassador in the Donor Café once a month and also substitutes.
In 2011, Gift of Life Couriers made more than 1,000 trips to hospitals and branch sites, transporting more than 250,000 blood units.
Cissy praises all her volunteers, noting that many are long-time blood donors who may now be deferred but took up volunteering as another way to help CBC/CTS.
“For the past three years we have been able to say ‘Can you continue to help us in the community and join us as a volunteer?’” says Cissy. “Now hundreds of these donors and past donors support CBC in new ways by volunteering at blood drives, as guest relations ambassadors in the Dayton CBC Donor Café, at the Research Park facility, Recovery Partners–CTS and our beloved Gift of Life Couriers.”