“I was inspired by a fellow freshman at college, and figured if she could donate blood, I could too.”
That was just the start for Nancy Luckenbill in the mid-1950s, who has dedicated a life of service to the Red Cross – no matter how you measure it. She just received Red Cross pins to commemorate 55 years of volunteering and for donating 18 gallons of blood.
Involvement with the Red Cross was a true partnership with her husband Fred, who spent a 40-year administrative and fundraising career with the organization nationally. After working for the Red Cross in Nebraska and Wisconsin, they settled in the Quad Cities in Illinois. Nancy’s background as a teacher was a perfect fit for volunteering to teach life-saving skills to high school home nursing classes, scouting groups, and Junior Red Cross clubs in local elementary schools.
Together Nancy and Fred attended Red Cross conventions and met fellow Red Crossers from all over the country, befriending many other volunteers and joining with a Red Cross retiree social group in St. Louis. The Red Cross mission has been a big part of their lives and made a difference for their children, one of whom has chosen a career in social work.
Nancy retired early from teaching and became a Red Cross volunteer receptionist in the Quad Cities office. She was there each week before COVID-19. Now she goes to the office to donate blood when she can, and to make calls for blood drives and other Red Cross events. “It’s a volunteer job where you feel like you’ve helped someone. It’s worthwhile and one of the best places to donate to, especially with all the recent disasters the Red Cross has responded to.”
Thank you, Nancy – we are honored by your 55 years of service!
To view Red Cross volunteer opportunities, visit www.redcross.org/volunteer
Written by Communications & Marketing Volunteer, Virginia Hopley