Melody joined the Red Cross in October of 2005. “I started volunteering because I had a house fire and as the firefighters were putting the fire out a white van pulled up and an angel appeared, Red Cross volunteer Tom Barnum. He helped me out so much during that devastating time. I especially remember his kindness when my Dad did not want to leave our house because of his dog; Tom went out of his way to call places for us to go that would accept dogs. The Red Cross brought us hope that day and after that I made it my mission to give back just like Tom,” explained Melody.
Red Cross staff and volunteers alike express gratitude for her constant support with Disaster Services, Dispatch and Casework. Most often Melody volunteers as a lead Red Cross Dispatcher. “She is one of the best examples of a volunteer partner for staff that I can think of in disaster services,” wrote Travis Waack. Volunteering about 30 hours per week, Melody receives calls of fires and other natural disasters adversely affecting or displacing members of communities statewide. She is responsible for obtaining all initial information and identifying volunteers to respond to disaster sites to provide Red Cross assistance. Fellow Dispatcher Scott Adler shared, “Melody is always ready to cover shifts at a moment’s notice. She proactively monitors the hotline schedule and ensures that the hotline is constantly staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.” Melody’s devotion is known throughout the Red Cross and especially by the Wisconsin Disaster Services Dispatch team. Year round she makes herself available to take on additional volunteer work demonstrating her vast loyalty to her fellow volunteers, her volunteer service and the Red Cross as a whole. Sally Reamer fellow dispatcher shared, “Melody truly cares about each and every one of us! She is proud of our dispatch team and it shows in her every action. Her positive attitude and guidance is what keeps this team motivated.”
Melody encourages everyone she can to volunteer with the Red Cross, “It is never wrong to help others and give someone hope. The feeling I get when helping others can’t be beat and it is really the best feeling in the world. This is a wonderful organization that gives so much too so many people.”
Every day, the American Red Cross depends on local heroes to deliver help and hope during an emergency. Thank you, Melody, for being an Everyday Hero by sharing your talents and time with the American Red Cross!
Right now, the American Red Cross has many volunteer opportunities, including becoming a disaster responder, supporting military troops, and many more. Red Cross volunteers are united by their service and the feeling that in changing others’ lives, their lives are also changed.