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‘You have to have a passion,’ says longtime Red Cross volunteer

Posted at 3:46 PM, Jan 15, 2015
and last updated 2015-01-15 15:53:25-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- Almost anytime there is a disaster or an emergency in Central Virginia, you will find Red Cross volunteer Susan Mize-Cain.

For 12 years, Mize-Cain has been helping at the American Red Cross by answering calls, raising money, organizing volunteers and going to disaster sites. She’s helped victims of natural disasters like Isabel, Irene, Sandy and frequent house fires.

In fact, Mize-Cain volunteers 30 to 40 hours every week with the American Red Cross.

“I get more out of volunteering at the Red Cross than I give. You get that personal satisfaction to be able to help someone directly, to have that face-to-face contact,” Mize-Cain said.

Mize-Cain also trains volunteers, schedules staff and raises money among other tasks for the Red Cross.

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“You don`t need think about the Red Cross until you need us. But we are there,” Mize-Cain  said. “We are there in the middle of the night. We’re there on the weekends. We`re there to provide those immediate emergency needs.”

To say that Mize-Cain is committed to her job is an understatement.

“You have to have a passion. You have to have a true passion for that humanitarian mission,” she said.

The Tennessee native has not received one cent in pay for the dozen years she has been volunteering out of the kindness of her heart.

“I get more out of the Red Cross than I give,” Mize-Cain said. “You get that personal satisfaction being able to help someone directly and have that face-to- face contact.”

Some of her colleagues like Jonathan McNamara said Mize-Cain is one of the driving forces behind the Red Cross' office in Richmond.

“What Susan does can`t be measured in stats,” McNamara said. “When you look at what Susan does and all of the volunteers do. You can`t say thank you enough.”

While Mize-Cain may serve as an inspiration to others, she is quick to point out that no one person is bigger than the organization.

Mize-Cain never expected to volunteer at the Red Cross this long, but after serving so many years, she can never see herself leaving either.

“I guess we all get a sense of satisfaction giving back,” Mize-Cain said.  “Maybe that is the beauty. We don`t have to do what we do. We don`t. We do it because we want to do it.”