By Lucca Lorenzi
Following her retirement from accounting, Mary Frazier was looking for a way to help others in her community. In 2015, she joined the Red Cross and has been serving the Central California Region ever since.
“I’m a people’s person. I like meeting new people and helping wherever I’m needed,” she stated. “That’s why I joined.”
Frazier has a large volunteer presence within the Fresno and Clovis communities. Prior to her joining the Red Cross, Frazier volunteered with the Clovis Emergency Response Team (CERT). Frazier was one of the few volunteers certified to drive and operate the CERT truck (a retired ambulance converted into a vehicle for the CERT program). She and other volunteers would help install smoke alarms and respond to home fires.
Mary has also volunteered several times for the local Family Readiness Groups and the 144th Fighter Wing Yellow Ribbon Welcome Home events.
Sarah Brown-Monroe, a Service to the Armed Forces (SAF) volunteer, stated, “Mary’s always ready to help with a smile and a wealth of knowledge. She’s ready to take care of business when we need her most.”
At 80 years old, Frazier is very active within many of the Red Cross’ volunteer events and programs, such as Sound the Alarm, the Central Valley Veterans Women’s Stand Up and Central Valley Homeless Veterans Stand Down.
“Our valley veterans are always so happy to see Mary at our SAF events.”Sarah Brown-Monroe
Frazier recalls her first experience with the Red Cross began leading their pillowcase project when Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005. Frazier and other volunteers would travel to elementary school and Boys and Girls Clubs to speak to children about the importance of preparedness.
“I remember one year Disney donated a bunch of pillowcases with their characters on them and the kids just loved it,” Frazier said. “They were able to color them in and write their names on it. Afterward, we taught them about what items you can place in the pillowcases during an emergency.”
Frazier said she is grateful for the Red Cross and all that they do to help others. “Volunteering gave me purpose after retirement,” Frazier stated. “I don’t volunteer for a gold star or a cookie.”