RUTHERFORD COUNTY: Heart of Tennessee Chapter of the American Red Cross Honors Volunteers

Jun 11, 2021 at 12:33 pm by WGNS

The Heart of Tennessee chapter of the American Red Cross is HOT right now with positive volunteers making a difference in the Rutherford County Community and beyond.

The American Red Cross Heart of Tennessee Chapter recently recognized its exceptional volunteers who continue to work tirelessly to help people in need.

“We are grateful for the dedication of our volunteers, whose support makes a compassionate difference for our neighbors in need,” Tara Stone, Executive Director for the Heart of Tennessee Chapter said. “In thanks for their dedicated service, we have presented three Red Cross volunteer awards for the vital role they play in carrying out our mission in our community.”

In the Tennessee region, more than 2,600 people volunteer with the Red Cross by responding to home fires and other disasters, supporting blood collections, providing emergency assistance to military families, and much more. These individuals are among the more than 300,000 volunteers who comprise more than 90% of the national Red Cross workforce.

This year’s award winners are:

Reina Teems, of Murfreesboro, received the Tennessee Region Disaster Services Award to recognize her contributions in multiple volunteer leadership positions. Reina, in her eighth year of volunteer service with the Red Cross, recently served as the lead for deployments and was responsible for leading the team in successfully deploying 151 people with 270 assignments this Fall doing tremendous work to support the many disaster response operations throughout the nation. Reina volunteered over 900 hours in just eight months, continuing to set the example of volunteer leadership on a daily basis.

Janice Schilling, of Smyrna, received the Heart of Tennessee Chapter Blood Services Award to recognize her contributions as a Blood Program Leader holding blood drives at 1st United Methodist Church and Cornerstone United Methodist Church, both in Smyrna. Her drives have collected 300 units of lifesaving blood since June 2020 filling a large void at a time when blood drives were being cancelled due to the pandemic. Janice has been a Red Cross volunteer since 2005 and serves in leadership roles as part of the Disaster Response team along with her role as a Blood Donor Ambassador.  

Jim Hunt, of Smyrna, received the Heart of Tennessee Chapter Business Operations Award to recognize his contributions assisting our chapter with maintaining our chapter office and blood donor facility as well as serving as a blood transportation specialist. He volunteers in several roles with the American Red Cross and has worked over 500 volunteer hours in his first year with the American Red Cross.

Forty-three Heart of Tennessee Chapter volunteers were also presented the President’s Volunteer Service Award. This award was created to recognize the important role of volunteers in America’s strength and national identity. Volunteers are recognized for unpaid acts of volunteer service benefitting others. Volunteers receive an award level based on their hours of service within a twelve-month period: Gold, 500+ hours; Silver, 250-499 hours and Bronze, 100-249 hours. The following Red Cross volunteers were recognized:

Gold: Wendy Bottomly, Janice Brandon, Julie Gray, Cassandra Hughes, Sharon Joseph, Anita Murrell, Angela Ruzicka, Joseph Ruzicka, Janice Schillin, Reina Teems and Pamela Thompson.

Silver: Judith Hawn Barlar, Marilyn Beachboard, Jaci Carrell, Debby Cook, Ronald Horton, Shirley Ikard, Teresa Jenkins, Mary Nichols, Carol Phifer, Steve Repasy, Alisha Yockey, and Evelyn Younglove.

Bronze: Phillip Barnett, Roy Boyd, Tamara Caballero, Kimberly Cantrell, William Craig, Charlie Cranmer, Sam DiNicola, Audrey Ford, James Goodman, Karen Hubbard, Jimmie Hunt, Michael Laux, Donald Lovett, TreVaris Lucas, Richard McDowell, Jaidah Parker, Bonnie Raettig, Robert Williams, Sandra Wilson and William Yancy.

If you are interested in becoming an American Red Cross volunteer, visit to sign up online.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and  supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCrossTN.

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