By Chris Chmura, American Red Cross volunteer
The American Red Cross celebrates the work and support of the hundreds of thousands of volunteers during National Volunteer Week. Red Cross volunteers fulfill many roles from coordinating blood drives, to responding to home fires in the middle of the night, to serving as board members and many more.
Betsy Sterling volunteers with the Red Cross of Heartland, Stark and Muskingum Lakes. Betsy met chapter Executive Director Kim Kroh years ago at a charity event called Day of Caring and they have supported each other ever since.
Betsy is a Tiffany Circle member, current board chair (past 9 years), an every 56-day blood donor, hosts regular blood drives at her company, and a former BASH co-chair (two years in a row). BASH is an annual fundraiser for the chapter which raised $80,000 in 2022. Monies raised by this event are used to support the chapter’s work in the local community:
- Installing free, life-saving smoke alarms
- Saving lives through health and safety training in CPR/First id/AED & Aquatics Training
- Providing shelter, clothing, food, comfort & hope to families devastated by home fires
- Supporting U.S. service men and women during an emergency
- Supplying critical blood, platelets, and plasma to patients in area hospitals
In 2023, the chapter is combining the BASH fund raiser with the annual Festival of Trees to create a unique event! https://www.redcross.org/local/ohio/northern-ohio/about-us/news-and-events/events/festival-of-trees.html
The Tiffany Circle is a close group of people that donates their own personal funds to support the Red Cross.
Betsy and her family are true believers in giving back to their community. She is a third-generation member of the Sterling family Beaver Excavating Company. Community service has played a key role in shaping the long history of community involvement that Beaver Excavating’s ownership and employees have created. Contributions not only include personal time and money, but also have included many donations of construction services, labor, and materials.
Nationally, the Red Cross has more than 200,000 volunteers, which makes up more than 90 percent of the workforce. The Heartland, Stark and Muskingum Lakes Chapter is thankful to have humble volunteers like Betsy Sterling. Her time is extremely valuable because she works in her family business, takes time to volunteer for several charities, and perhaps most importantly is a mom.
Posted by Ryan Lang, Red Cross board member and volunteer