Women’s History Month: Lyn Hruska

Lyn Hruska joined the American Red Cross nearly 25 years ago, in 1997.

Lyn has served in numerous important roles during her time with the Red Cross, starting as executive director in Bloomington. Little did she know, that was just the beginning of her career with the organization.

“I joined the Red Cross, thinking it would be an opportunity that might last a couple of years. But, obviously, 25 years later, you can see that once you are immersed in the Red Cross mission, you can’t leave,” she said.

Currently, Lyn is executive director of the Central Illinois chapter, which serves more than 900,000 people in 17 counties. She enjoys being able to cultivate relationships with staff and volunteers in her chapter.

The chapter is where those really strong connections and bonds can happen, and where people are serving their own communities.”
-Lyn Hruska

Lyn has seen changes happen during her time with the Red Cross. But, she embraces the changes and says it is a critical part of how an organization succeeds in the long run.

“The Red Cross is all about change and that is why they are so successful, even on a grand scale. We have been able to change as change has been needed,” she said.

Among the many things Lyn has contributed during her 25-year tenure with the Red Cross, in 2020, she led the Red Cross partnership with the United Way of McLean County to support a community care fund feeding more than 500 families a week in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, Lyn also leads two active Red Cross chapter boards in Central Illinois, one based in Bloomington and the other based in Peoria.

She has a heart for her team and has seen the power of compassion at work in the people who represent the Red Cross, during everyday operations and during times of extreme need.

“The reason I am still at the Red Cross after 25 years is our volunteers and community partners. These are people who truly want to help. We see the best of people during the worst of times. These individuals want to be part of that.”
-Lyn Hruska

Lyn and her husband live on a corn and soybean farm, west of Normal in McLean County. She rescues cats on their farm, socializing them and helping them get healthy so they can find new homes.

You may find Lyn on a tennis court as well. She has played since high school and continues to play local club competitive tennis.

Thank you, Lyn for your dedicated service and commitment to the Red Cross and its mission!

Written by Illinois Region Communications Manager Brian Williamsen

Meet Team Red Cross Member, Stacey Wilson: She Runs to Make a Difference

Stacey Wilson, a two-time Team Red Cross runner, is counting the days to her 26.2 miles virtual race in October. This year, for the first time, the Bank of America Chicago Marathon will be held virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic. Runners have from October 5 to 11 to complete their virtual race.

However, this is not the first virtual race for Stacey, who back in April ran a solo marathon. She believes that experience prepared her for the upcoming race. “It made a huge difference to know friends and family were tracking me and cheering me on from home,” says Stacey.

By running with Team Red Cross, Stacey wants to bring awareness about the lifesaving mission of the American Red Cross, and encourage others to support the work the organization does to help people in time of need.

Stacey’s support to the Red Cross goes beyond running the Chicago Marathon. She recently donated blood at a Red Cross blood drive. “Those staffing the blood drive were kind, helpful and knowledgeable. It made me feel better to know that I was able to help others during this time of need.”

Thank you, Stacey, for your support to the Red Cross. You are making a difference in the lives of so many people. We’ll be all cheering for you!

If you would like to help the Red Cross like Stacey, please visit redcross.org to make a donation.

Also, if you are health and feel well, please consider making an appointment to donate blood at redcrossblood.org.

Written by Communications and Marketing Intern, Justin Wang.