In August of this year, Holly Lenhardt, a veteran volunteer for the American Red Cross in Northern New Jersey, worked non-stop after Hurricane Irene brought havoc to the Northeastern part of the United States. She recalled, "People walked out of the night to our location and got hot meals. The look on their faces and their expressions of gratitude motivated us to press on, knowing fully that we are indeed providing a crucial service. We moved our location three times that night and stayed until no more people showed up!”
Lenhardt is a true veteran of volunteering. She learned to love volunteering while growing up. When President John F. Kennedy said his famous words: “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country,” Lenhardt took these challenging words to heart. During her formative years, this credo has remained a guiding principle in her life.
A volunteer at the American Red Cross since November of 2010, Lenhardt occasionally, helps directly at disaster sites, those mostly relate to house fires and floods. When faced with larger local disasters, she often works with the Red Cross' Disaster Relief Response Manager in manpower requirements, and acts as a liaison to local community volunteers.
The victims’ thankful expressions of gratitude explain why Holly Lenhardt is a dedicated volunteer. “The hours can be long, but when I hear from clients about how much they appreciate what we have done for them, it makes it all worthwhile. Although I would never want to have anyone go through a disaster, if they do, I can only hope that I or another volunteer will be there to help.”