03/11/04 — Red Cross 'heroes' raising money

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Red Cross 'heroes' raising money

By Becky Barclay
Published in News on March 11, 2004 2:05 PM

The Wayne County Chapter of the American Red Cross started its second annual Heroes Campaign on Wednesday.

"Heroes" are asked to raise at least $1,000. The money raised will stay in Wayne County and be used for local service programs.

Chuck Waller, board chairman, thanked this year's 42 "heroes" who gathered at St. Luke United Methodist Church, saying that when the world falls down, it's the American Red Cross that comes to pick it up.

He said that one and a half million times a year, there is an emergency message delivered to a military person through the Red Cross. And 36,000 times a year, someone learns a lifesaving skill such as CPR through the Red Cross.

"Every two seconds, there is a call for blood," he said. "Maybe it's dad needing a transplant. Maybe it's sister who's been hit by a car. Maybe it's the grandchild who has leukemia.

"No matter where and when, Red Cross answers the call each and every 67,000 times a year. We answer that call with our heroes. It's these heroes who make sure the dollars are there so that the Red Cross' services are there during someone's darkest hour."

Waller said heroes know that it's not how many times you get knocked down, but how many times you get back up that counts.

"You are not afraid of adversity," he said. "You are ready to tackle what the average person said couldn't be done."

Waller said that what separates heroes from the rest of the world is that heroes leave the world kinder and gentler than they found it. "The higher price you pay volunteering, the greater the reward on the other side of that price," he said.

"There comes a time in every life that there's a tug at your heart that only you feel, a whisper in your ear that only you hear. It's the Almighty reaching down in this world for you to help someone. When you feel that tug or hear that whisper, you answer it by volunteering."

Waller related the story of a busy mother on her way into a grocery store. At the door she passed a little girl whose hair was uncombed, who was wearing a thin coat in the cold and whose face showed the paths where tears had rolled from her eyes.

The sight bothered the mother, but she was too busy to stop. She thought about the little girl while shopping and while putting her groceries into her car.

On her way home, she became angry with God. She thought that if she knew about this little girl, God must know, too, and asked why He hadn't done something about it. God answered her saying He did do something about it -- He had sent her to the little girl.

"We feel like you've been sent to us at the Red Cross," Waller said to the heroes.

This year's heroes are Wayne Alley, Curtis Media; Bank of America tellers; Donnie Barnes, Grand Rental Station; Gail Charles, city of Goldsboro; Mel Powers, Wayne County Emergency Management; Chris Gurley, TurfMaster; Louise Faison, Enlisted Spouses Club of Seymour Johnson Air Force Base; KS Bank tellers; David Jackson, Jackson and Sons; Durwood Bostic, Dora Perry, Keyra Donaldson Harold and Jessie Waller Jones, Gladys Brown and Chuck Waller, Red Cross volunteers; BB&T tellers at Ash, Eastgate, Spence at U.S. 70 west branches; Efton Sager, county commissioner; Fontaine Swinson, Skill Creations; Bernie Chavis, Wayne County Emergency Management Services; Becky Heath, Becky's Cleaning Service; Logan's Roadhouse.

Other heroes are Convenient Glass Service; George Whitfield; Billy Lee; Bryan and Debbie Daniels, Daniels Furniture; Mike Davis, Tri-County Electric; Grantham School; Brantley, Jenkins, Riddle, Hardee and Hardee; Pastor Maggie Mitchell, Word of Faith Church; Chuck Moore, First African Baptist Church; New Century Bank; Wes Waller, Johnson-Russell Construction; Chuck Allen, Allen and Co.; Donna Edmundson, Health Promotions; David Perry, Goldsboro Builders; Wachovia Bank tellers; Glen Barnes, Goldsboro Police Department; Adams Auto Wash; Sharon Britt, Woodmen of the World; Judith McMillen, The McMillen Group; and Progress Energy.

Last year's goal was $25,000 and heroes raised more than $28,000, according to Cindy Bell, Red Cross director. This year's goal is $40,000. "We're at between $12,000 and $13,000 right now," she said. "I am confident that we will achieve our goal."

The fund-raiser ends with a celebration luncheon April 1 at noon at St. Luke Church.