Best Volunteer - 2008
Muddy floodwaters are up to the fourth row of your living-room bookshelf. The same can be said about many of your possessions. And you're not the type to ask for a handout. Adding to the stress, you have three kids under age five. Figuring out what to do next can be mind-boggling. Many Missourians were fortunate enough to take the first step to getting their lives on dry land this summer with the help of Gladys Stannard. An energetic former Rockwood schools educator, the 70-year-old Red Cross caseworker interviewed beleaguered Missourians about their needs — clothing, medical attention, a place to stay — and sent them to others who could help. Stannard volunteers every Thursday on the disaster action team for the St. Louis chapter of the Red Cross, heading out to house fires as soon as she hears of them on the police scanner. Says Stannard: "The reason I do it is because you are so thankful to be able to give some help. Sometimes it's listening, commiserating, a hug or empathy."