Making a Difference One Hug at a Time!

Submitted by Paula Thayer, Major Gifts Manager, American Red Cross, Columbia Region

Mr. Warren LaBorde is an extraordinary volunteer in the blood donor room at the American Red Cross in Columbia, SC.  Every Thursday and Friday he can be found passing out snacks and beverages, giving hugs and sharing stories.

Warren LaBorde spends every Thursday and Friday volunteering in the blood donor room at the Red Cross and excels at making our donors feel welcome and appreciated.

Mr. LaBorde is retired and was looking for a place to give back to his community. While talking with his financial advisor (who happens to be a faithful platelet donor) he found out about the need for volunteers at the Red Cross and came right over.

After being interviewed, it was determined that he was definitely a “people person” and needed to be placed in a position with lots of contact with the public, thus the Blood Donor Room.  For the past year anyone coming in to donate blood products on a Thursday or Friday will find his bright smiling face there to offer a word of encouragement and one of his famous hugs.

Mr. LaBorde wanted to take his service one step further and decided to become a financial supporter of the Red Cross.  One morning he surprised me  in the front lobby and stated that he had a stock certificate that was coming due and wanted to cash it in to make a donation to the Red Cross. 

After some careful planning with his platelet-donating financial advisor, LaBorde presented the Red Cross with a large donation to assist with the disaster relief program throughout the Columbia Region, which serves 28 counties in South Carolina.

Me thanking Mr. LaBorde for his gracious donation by giving him an offical Red Cross lapel pin.

The Red Cross is not a government agency and depends 100% on the generosity of donors like LaBorde, as well as our massive volunteer workforce which comprises 98% of the people carrying out the mission of the Red Cross each and every day down the street, across the country and around the world.    When one of those volunteers also becomes a financial supporter we are overjoyed because of the double impact that person has on the overall operation of our programs and services. 

On behlaf of the Red Cross, thank you Warren LaBorde for bringing hope to those in need! 

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