by Danielle Pozernick
In April 2016, the National Volunteer Services department launched a pilot project that changed the way volunteer applications were processed throughout the nation. The Idaho and Montana Region was one of several regions selected to run the pilot, and to help fine tune the volunteer application process to make it more efficient.
The Volunteer Intake Processing Center pilot was a huge success. Technological systems can be challenging enough when working properly, but a team of our dedicated volunteers had to test out a brand new system with many bugs. The team worked hard with changes constantly coming at them; sometimes within the same week. The project could not have been successful without Lynn Tyler, Judy Brownfield, and Gay Winkler of the Idaho and Montana volunteer intake team. In April, 2017, our volunteer intake team was recognized for their hard work with the national American Red Cross’s Presidential Award. This award is given to staff and volunteers who demonstrate above and beyond job performance.
When asked why she joined the American Red Cross, Lynn Tyler, our Regional Volunteer Intake Team Lead, replied, “I joined the Red Cross because someone talked me into it.” The president of Lynn’s homeowner’s association invited Lynn to a DAT meeting, and the rest was history. Lynn started volunteering with us in October 2011. Her favorite part about volunteering here is seeing the grateful faces of the individuals whose lives she impacts.
Another critical team member who received the Presidential Award is Judy Brownfield. In March 2012, at the suggestion of a friend, Judy applied for a volunteer position with the American Red Cross. At first, she started as a Jill of all trades in the office and also helped clean CPR training tools. After a short time, Judy joined the volunteer intake team where she began processing volunteer applications. Judy’s favorite part about volunteering is interacting with staff and volunteers. She also donates blood as often as she can, and has donated 2+ gallons so far!
Last but not least, Gay Winkler also won a Presidential Award for her significant contributions to the Red Cross. Gay started with the American Red Cross to acquire field experience for her degree in Human Services. Even though her volunteer work started as a requirement, Gay fell in love with the Red Cross staff and volunteers. “At the American Red Cross, you’re not just a number. You’re a valued member of the team,” Gay says. Fun fact: Gay has entered her baked goods into the county fair for many years and won a Best in Show ribbon and 1st place for her sweet potato cookies, which are amazing!
Thank you, Lynn, Judy, and Gay for all the work you do! We are so proud of you!