Greg Honeywell has collected several fond memories during his 30-year tenure as a pilot. Among them are playing cards with musician John Denver and flying former U.S. Sen. Bob Dole and his wife and former American Red Cross president, Elizabeth Dole.
But when he flew above the destruction that tornadoes had left behind in Greensburg, Kan., in 2007, Greg saw something he’ll always remember — a long line of Red Crossmarked vehicles heading to the devastating scene.
“The Red Cross vehicles were actually on site before the National Guard vehicles,” he said. “I was so impressed by the immediate action of the disaster services team and eventually had to get involved with this organization.”
Greg, a senior loan officer and avid golfer, began volunteering as a blood drive coordinator with the Red Cross in the fall of 2010. Closely involved with the Better Business Bureau and serving as the membership director of his local chamber of commerce, he has developed many professional ties in his community and has inadvertently sparked business ventures through his Red Cross volunteerism.
“I’m talking to at least a dozen business people every day,” he said. “When anyone mentions volunteerism or wanting to get involved somehow, I’m there to say, ‘Donate blood.’” Greg helps coordinate several blood drives every year and is currently working closely with local businesses to ensure employees are given an hour to donate blood on days when the Red Cross is in town. Additionally, Greg said the online scheduling system has enhanced his recruitment efforts and overall experience as a volunteer.
“I never want to get paid for something like this,” he said. “I get all the reward I need when I see people leaving that feel like they’ve done something to make a difference. It’s that warm and fuzzy feeling.”