American Red Cross thanks volunteers for 100 years of service

Free event being held on Saturday

SAN ANTONIO – The American Red Cross is celebrating its centennial this year, and crediting much of its success to volunteers, who have served the organization in the past several decades.

One such volunteer is Paula Haley, who served as a “Donut Dolly” in Vietnam in 1968.  Haley helped to entertain troops overseas for about a year.

“It's just being with the people and helping them out,” Haley said.  “Putting your arm around them and saying hey, you're OK, you didn't get hurt.”

After Vietnam, Haley went on to join and eventually retire from the Air Force, then went back to the Red Cross to continue volunteering.

“You just walk away from those kind of things knowing about how blessed we are, and that we should be here to help other people,” Haley said.

Eric Maldonado, spokesman for the San Antonio Chapter of the American Red Cross, said they are grateful for volunteers like Paula, who have contributed to their success.

“Volunteers like Paula are what the Red Cross is made out of,” Maldonado said. “Over 90 percent of the Red Cross is volunteers, so without volunteers exactly like Paula, we wouldn't be able to go out and serve the community.”

On Saturday the American Red Cross will hold a special event to celebrate its centennial at Travis Park, 301 E. Travis St., from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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