Volunteers Honored with National Service Award

April 27, 2011


In honor of National Volunteer Week, the American Red Cross Northern California Blood Services Region presented Marcia Dickerson and Lou Eden with the President’s Volunteer Service Award (PVSA), a national honor offered in recognition of volunteer service.

Dickerson of Concord was presented with the Gold Level PVSA, having logged 694 hours of volunteer service with the Red Cross since November 2009. Eden, also of Concord, received a Silver Level award for completing 390 hours of volunteer service since December 2006.

Dickerson splits the time she volunteers as a blood donor ambassador at the Pleasant Hill Blood Donation Center between the front desk and the canteen. Each Monday, she puts in about five hours at the reception desk welcoming blood donors, helping them sign in and providing educational materials for them to read before their donations.

Later in the week, Dickerson works in the canteen area. There she provides donors with juice and snacks, which help restore the fluids and nutrients lost during the donation process.

“I like being with people, and [the Red Cross] is an organization that is really needed,” Dickerson said. “The outpouring of help I see here when people are in need is amazing, whether it’s blood that’s needed or financial donations during times of disaster.”

Dickerson, a blood donor herself, knows her job so well that she trains other volunteers at the Pleasant Hill center.

Eden volunteers her time as a blood donor ambassador at mobile blood drives held throughout Contra Costa County. Her time with the Red Cross is the result of a lifelong desire to serve.

“When I was younger, I always said I would volunteer when I retired,” Eden said. “I wanted to serve my community, and I really feel like I’ve accomplished something at the end of the day.”

Eden assists the donors at both reception and in the canteen at the blood drives she attends, and she maintains a good relationship with them all – regardless of their age.

“I really get a kick out of the kids at our high school blood drives. They are a lot of fun, and I found it easy to relate to them.”

As blood donor ambassadors, Dickerson and Eden are often the face of the Red Cross to many donors. It’s their job to thank them for their donations, make sure they are comfortable and most of all make sure each of them feel appreciated.

“Both Marcia and Lou are very committed to our blood donors,” said Mandy Lewis Nakaya, volunteer services manager of the American Red Cross Northern California Blood Services Region. “The Red Cross extends its heartfelt appreciation to both of these women as they truly epitomize what this service award is all about.”

The following volunteers were also honored with the President’s Volunteer Service Award last week (hours of service listed in parenthesis):

Gold Level Honorees
500 or more hours
Silver Level Honorees
250-499 hours
Joan Blood of San Jose, 1,121 hours Lydia Wesson of San Jose, 416 hours  
Andro Sergides of San Jose, 675 hours George Bozich of San Jose, 382 hours  
Patricia Finch of Fremont, 633 hours Gerald Lahann of Saratoga, 362 hours  
Karen Burtt of Pleasant Hill, 589 hours Dennis Uyeno of San Jose, 354 hours  
Tim Rissing of San Jose, 520 hours Steve Richardson of Fremont, 330 hours  
Sandra Peters of Watsonville, 505 hours Vidyananda Marothu of Mountain View, 301 hours  
Neha Agarwal of San Jose, 500 hours Cheryl Stein of Fremont, 296 hours  
  Nadine Whittaker of San Jose, 250 hours  
Bronze Level Honorees
100-249 hours
Jules Vo of San Jose, 167 hours
Willie Prewitt of San Leandro, 137 hours
Lynn Ragghianti of Union City, 107 hours
Sanjna Thaker of Fremont, 110 hours
Vivian Tran of San Jose, 109 hours
Linh Ly of Alameda, 102 hours
Duffy Busch of Santa Cruz, 100 hours

The President’s Volunteer Service Award is issued by the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation on behalf of the President of the United States to recognize the best in American spirit, and to encourage all Americans to improve their communities through volunteer service.