Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Happy Administrative Professionals Day!

In honor of Administrative Professionals Day, we've decided to profile one of our administrative volunteers that works tirelessly behind the scenes to help us meet the needs of our community. Meet Joan Holzknecht! This interview was conducted by Shelby Fill, Volunteer Specialist for the Louisville Area Chapter/River Valley Blood Region.

Tell me what you do for the Red Cross.

I spend one day a week at the Red Cross downtown office. In the morning, I volunteer in Blood Services doing administrative work and then I spend the afternoon in Armed Forces Emergency Services making follow up calls to families to ensure they have had a successful call back from their deployed loved one. Additionally, I try to volunteer at one blood mobile a month and like to volunteer at the Holiday Heroes special event blood drives.

Why did you decide to volunteer for the Red Cross, and how long have you been a volunteer?

I have been a Red Cross volunteer for about 6 months now. I wanted to become a volunteer here because there were many different opportunities within the organization, so I knew I would be able to find volunteer jobs that would interest me and help the community.

What is the most interesting aspect of your job duties with the Red Cross?

The most interesting thing is learning about the workings of military communications and the circumstances revolving around family communications. Both military personnel and their families are extremely brave. Also, our Armed Forces Emergency Services call center takes calls not only from families here in the area, but almost 200 locations throughout the nation.

What does it mean to you to be a Red Cross volunteer?

It gives me a sense of belonging to something that is well respected and vital to the community. I am proud to volunteer for an organization that is doing so much for people locally, nationally, and throughout the world. Volunteering has made me more compassionate and outgoing, and I also enjoy the sense of community and camaraderie between the staff and other volunteers.

Why do you volunteer?

I believe it is the right thing to do. Since high school, I have tried to volunteer at various locations to try and serve others. I had teachers and family members instill in me the importance of volunteering.

What do you do when you aren’t volunteering for the Red Cross?

I am an Every1 Reads tutor at Jeffersontown Elementary; sing in my church choir (shout out to the alto section!); and have started to sew funeral pall cloths to be used at indigent burials. I like to spend a lot of time with my family, especially my grandchildren.

Thanks Joan; we're lucky to have you as a volunteer! Would you like to help the Red Cross stay organized? Check out our Administrative Assistant volunteer opportunity at!