Woman Receives Surprise Honor on Retirement as Red Cross Volunteer

(HENDERSON, KY.) – To her surprise, Ruth Bunch was recognized for her dedication to improving the lives of those served by the American Red Cross at the annual Henderson Holiday Hero Blood Drive, sponsored by People Plus on Dec. 2.

Ruth Bunch

The event was held at Presbyterian Church where Bunch was volunteering at her final Red Cross blood drive as a blood donor ambassador.

Bunch, who began volunteering with the Red Cross in 1977, also worked as a blood donor recruitment representative from 1995 to 2000.

“I’ve been with the Red Cross for 40 years so I guess you can say it’s in my blood,” said Bunch.

In addition to volunteering at blood drives and working to recruit blood donors to give, Bunch is a long-time volunteer blood donor who has donated over 25 gallons of blood for patients in need.

Those in attendance celebrated her various forms of service with the Red Cross and looked on as she made her first blood donation since February at the Henderson Holiday Hero Blood Drive.

“I’ve always felt that donating blood was something easy and selfless that I or anybody could do,” said Bunch.  “It only takes about an hour of your time, but the lives that can be touched. . . it truly is the easiest and yet most meaningful gift I can give.”

Local Red Cross volunteer heroes like Bunch help carry out 90% of Red Cross humanitarian services work.

“Red Cross recognition events like this are designed to honor the lifetime journey of volunteers and donors while creating a celebratory moment that encourages others in the community to join in honoring them and making a difference as well,” said Cyndi Dahl, Red Cross Kentucky regional donor services executive. “Without dedicated volunteers like Ruth, what we do at the Red Cross could not be done. They are our heroes.”

Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood. As the nation’s largest blood collection organization, the Red Cross collects 4.7 million blood donations each year for patients in need with the help of generous volunteers. In addition to having 2.7 million volunteer blood donors each year, the Red Cross has over 16,000 active volunteers serving in biomedical services. These volunteers serve as donor ambassadors, transportation specialists and more.

As schedules fill with holiday parties, shopping and fun with friends and family, many blood donors delay giving. Unfortunately, that may lead to delays in treatments for patients relying on blood. Right now, there is an urgent need for donors of all blood types to help ensure patients don’t have to wait for blood products this winter.

How to donate blood

Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.

About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.