Written By: Kari Ross, Communications Volunteer
Wilma has been a Red Cross volunteer for Scott AFB for 17 years. There have been a lot of changes in those 17 years, however, her 3 day a week volunteer service to this community is not one of them. I asked her how she became affiliated with the organization and she simply said, “I went to an Officers Club Spouse event one day and the Red Cross had a booth. I signed a volunteer paper, handed it back to them and I have been a volunteer ever since.” There is much more to Wilma’s story and it all centers around service.
As a retired Airman herself, she spent 20 years as a Communications Officer before retiring in 1994. She is a veteran of the Gulf War and Operation Desert Storm. Though she was a Communications Officer in the Air Force, she said she learned many of her computer skills from being a volunteer with the Red Cross. It is just one of the benefits of being a volunteer that Wilma says she acquired. She boasts, “I like that sometimes I know more about computers than my kids.”
Volunteering is important to Wilma and she stated she would love to see more involvement from the Scott community. Stating, “I’m not sure people know about all of the individual things the Red Cross does.” To that she said she is willing to answer questions for those who are considering volunteering but just may not know how to get through the process or what is available. She understands that some things still need that personal touch and that the application process can be confusing. She said the technology and applications are wonderful, though, and it is all worth it in the end.
Giving back to the community is important for Wilma and in recognition of the dedication and commitment she has shown she was awarded with the Clara Barton Award in 2011. This is the highest award that can be given to a Red Cross volunteer as it recognizes their meritorious service. She said, “Volunteering makes me feel good and as with anything, you don’t have to be good when you start, you just have to persevere.”
To learn more about volunteer opportunities at the Red Cross go to www.redcross.org/stl and check out the Scott AFB Red Cross’s Facebook Page. The Scott AFB Red Cross is located at: 411 POW / MIA St Bldg 21 Scott Air Force Base, Illinois 62225 and the telephone number is at 618.256.3292