Big Island Red Cross Volunteers Honored
Two American Red Cross of Hawai’i volunteers from the Big Island were honored on Saturday morning as part of an event to honor the organization’s Community Heroes and Volunteers of the Year.
Joyce Lovell was honored with the East Hawai’i Volunteer of the Year Award, while the West Hawai’i honor was presented to Nancy Sallee.
The Red Cross Heroes Breakfast took place at the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, where Governor David Ige and Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell each presented a Red Cross Month Proclamation.
“The kind, courageous, and selfless deeds of these heroes are directly linked to the Red Cross mission of preventing and alleviating human suffering,” the Red Cross said in a statement. “These inspiring individuals demonstrate that inside each human being is a hero, ready to step up to the plate and assist those in need.
Lovell is a registered nurse who began her American Red Cross experience as a volunteer on the Big Island as part of the Health Services Team in 2013. She now serves as the Health Services Function Lead for all of Hawai’i County.
As Function Lead, Lovell assists clients by making sure all of their health needs are met following a disaster. Health needs range from assistance with replacing medications or eye glasses lost during a house fire, to assistance with procuring a generator to supply electricity to a client who needs to operate medical devices.
In addition, Lovell also helps recruit and train new Health Services volunteers with the proper certifications and licenses. She is also responsible for assigning nurses to shelters in times of disaster, which can be a challenge since health services workers are limited in Hawaii County.
Sallee is a licensed marriage and family therapist and has been a volunteer for the American Red Cross since 2007. She has assisted the Red Cross both locally and nationally as a Mental Health worker and is now the Lead for the Mental Health Function for Hawai’i County.
In addition to providing services to those who have been impacted by disasters, Sallee also provides counseling to other volunteers who might have been traumatized by events during or following a disaster.
The Red Cross notes that Sallee is vital to recruiting additional mental health professionals as Red Cross volunteers and continually supports disaster coordination. She is also active in providing training to the community in suicide prevention and other mental health issues.