Name: Thora Hushbeck, 78, of Oakland Mills...

Neighbors Helping Neighbors

November 21, 1993

Name: Thora Hushbeck, 78, of Oakland Mills, Columbia.

Hobbies and other activities: Mrs. Hushbeck has volunteered with the American Red Cross since 1973. In 1983 she became a volunteer coordinator for Blood Services in Howard County. The position required finding four to six volunteers for each of the six days Blood Services in Columbia is open, plus two volunteers to staff the Self-Contained Unit, a bus that travels throughout the county, and six people to staff the blood drives at churches, schools and other locations.

Last Sunday, Mrs. Hushbeck received her 20-year pin for volunteering at the Red Cross. She decided to retire as coordinator, because the volunteer scheduling now will be done by paid staff in Baltimore.

She will continue to volunteer to help with other duties.

Mrs. Hushbeck said the Red Cross always needs volunteers. Call 800-787-3399 or 410-764-5418 to volunteer.

Mrs. Hushbeck also makes two flower arrangements for each of the 13 chamber music concerts performed by the Cadillac Society and Youth Artists series in the Smith Theatre at Howard Community College. The arrangements are used during refreshment time at intermission. She also volunteered in the Craft Shop at Oakland Mills Village.

Her other loves are music, gardening, swimming twice a week at the college and dance.

Organization's comments: "It is through her dedication and outstanding abilities that our operations are staffed by knowledgeable, competent and loyal volunteers," said Darlene Brindley, Donor Center supervisor, American Red Cross.

"She will do whatever is necessary to ensure the success of our blood drives, and she has often been very creative in solving problems. The staff can always depend upon her experience, understanding and, above all, her sensitivity to the needs of the Red Cross and the special abilities of the individual.

"Despite these demanding responsibilities, she has never wavered from the cheerfulness, patience and professionalism which have gained the respect and gratitude of the entire organization. Her contributions have enriched the lives of volunteers, staff, donors and the countless patients who have depended upon and been rewarded by her accomplishments," Ms. Brindley said.

Volunteer's comments: Mrs. Hushbeck said a friend told her she might enjoy volunteering for the Red Cross. "I was eased into it. I was worried about seeing a lot of blood. But you don't," she said.

"Volunteering there is more like serving food in the canteen, labeling bags and asking questions. Some of the questions are a little on the embarrassing side. But it's to protect people who received the blood," she said.

"After I had done it awhile, I thought it was a worthwhile thing to do, and that is why I started doing it more.

"Keeping the records of who works where and how many hours for the 10 years was really taking all my time," Mrs. Hushbeck said.

About Mrs. Hushbeck: She was married to Len Hushbeck for 35 years. She has four children and four grandchildren.

To make a nomination or receive a nomination form, call Jill L. Kubatko at 715-2813 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. Nominations may be faxed to the office at 715-2816.

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