We are pleased to announce Margaret Stine, Madison, WI, as September Volunteer of the Month at the American Red Cross.
After reading a newspaper article about a unique need following a large apartment fire on Madison’s south side, Margaret Stine first became interested in joining the American Red Cross. The article mentioned that many of the families spoke only Spanish and additional bilingual Red Cross disaster responders were needed. Being a fluent Spanish speaker, Margaret started volunteering in 2005. She responds to local disasters, such as home fires, and has also worked on local large-scale disasters as a caseworker, completing the paperwork needed to offer assistance.
“When we need a Spanish speaking caseworker, Margaret is the first person who comes to mind. She is always willing to help.” Marytha Blanchard, Disaster Program Officer, noted. “She often completes cases over the phone, giving support and assistance to disaster clients throughout western Wisconsin.”
Additionally, Margaret reviewed and translated casework forms and documents into Spanish. She also volunteers with Red Cross Services to the Armed Forces, often working for the Badger Honor Flights.
One of Margaret’s favorite parts of volunteering is seeing how grateful clients are for Red Cross assistance, and their surprise at the comprehensive help they receive; food, clothing, shelter and additional services.
Her most memorable volunteer experience was interpreting for a family with two small children. They had just purchased and moved into their new condominium. On their first night in the new home, a kitchen fire (not in their kitchen) burned all of their belongings and home. The Red Cross helped navigate their recovery by providing direct assistance for food, shelter, and clothing; helped them work with friends who wanted to donate bedding and a local church that gave the family furniture, and the Red Cross helped guide the family through legal problems with their condominium. A few weeks later, Margaret was reunited with the family who visited to thank Margaret and the Red Cross and tell her they moved into their new home!
After becoming a volunteer she was surprised to discover that many of her friends were not aware of the variety of services the Red Cross provides free of charge. Margaret often tells recently retired friends about the rewarding work of the Red Cross, and that there are many ways to volunteer with the Red Cross in addition to a disaster response.
According to Margaret, “It is a great place to volunteer!”
Thanks to Margaret for communicating with our Spanish speaking clients and for improving our ability to serve all clients!