Canadian Red Cross Volunteers - Local Edition

Topics: Saskatchewan, Volunteer
Michelle Palansky | April 20, 2021

Colleen Hakes has been a volunteer with the Red Cross for over 20 years. She began volunteering in Meadow Lake because she saw a great need – her daughter experienced a house fire and there were no volunteers in the area at the time. So, she pitched in. That’s Colleen’s way.

 When asked why she continues to volunteer, Colleen said, “If you see someone who needs help, Red Cross gives you the opportunity to help. We serve the needs of other people.”

A resident of North Battleford, Doug Reid has been a volunteer with the Red Cross for over 20 years. He served as president of the executive committee for the provincial Red Cross, supported large-scale recoveries like the Battleford flood, and he now works as a facilitator, providing a wide variety of courses to First Nation communities.
“I want to make the world a better place. I have the health and the time and the talent. Volunteering is perfect for me.”

When she first moved to Weyburn, the Red Cross was an excellent way for Wanda Miller to get to know her community and help where help was needed. After 20 years of supporting both small and large-scale disasters across Western Canada, Wanda is now a designated master trainer.
“Red Cross took my skills and helped me to do the things I love to help others. That’s what keeps me coming back as a volunteer.”

A volunteer in Regina since 2019, Bill Schwartz uses his skills as a former crisis care chaplain on the safety and wellbeing team. The focus of this team is holistic, supporting physical, psychological, and social wellbeing. “It’s really about connecting, which is where my counselling skills come in.
“Volunteering can be a tremendous gift to yourself,” said Bill. “Red Cross puts you in a position to grow. You never know what gifts you can bring as a volunteer unless you try.”

woman wrapped in blanket hugging son
Kim Doyle lives in Lloydminster. She has been a volunteer with the Red Cross for over 10 years and teaching for the Red Cross for over 20 years. It was when Kim felt herself fading as a teacher that she reached out to volunteer. “I wanted to be in the know so I could share, inform, and encourage other people to volunteer.
“I like that Red Cross worked with my life.” She gave more when she could and stepped back when work and raising children took priority. Kim said, “Isn’t it great that if you lose your home, somebody is there to help you.”


A volunteer in Saskatoon for almost four years, Jean Bacon is a safety and wellbeing responder and supervisor. She has supported evacuation centres, search and recovery operations, and settlements in Ontario and Nunavut experiencing tragic events.
Jean said, “I volunteer to meet my needs and to feel active and engaged. With the Red Cross, I feel that my activity and engagement go to a good purpose – supporting people and communities when they experience distress.”

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