Heroes honored during Red Cross Month

March is Red Cross Month and this year we are honoring our local “hometown heroes” to bring awareness to the community about individuals who dedicate their time to serving their community through the American Red Cross.

What’s a hero? Like art, heroism is in the eye of the beholder. You know a hero when you see one. At the American Red Cross, we are fortunate enough to see heroes every day.

Heroes are volunteers who are willing to leave their homes whenever the call comes to make sure a local family who has lost their home to a fire has a place to sleep tonight, and clothes to wear and food to eat tomorrow. They are people who trained in their free time so they can volunteer to set up shelters here or halfway across the country in the wake of a major disaster.

We think people who learn how to save lives through first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) are heroes, as are the people who teach them those skills, and our community is a safer place because of them. A heroic act also takes place each time someone rolls up their sleeve to give blood, or takes out a pen to write a check to support the work of the American Red Cross.

Two examples of hometown heroes include our volunteer of the year, William “Bud” Colfer, and our youth volunteer of the year, John Lorton. Bud is an active member of the disaster action team and has received numerous compliments from complete strangers who were blown away by his compassion and amazing customer service skills.

He has also spoken to young community members on the importance of volunteering. John, a 16-year-old high school student, has been involved with the Red Cross for four years, and he is currently the youth council president. His Red Cross experiences include assisting in blood drives including the annual Great Adventure blood drives, participating in car wash fund-raising events for hurricane victims, delivering packages to soldiers at Fort Dix Army training site, and is an active participant of the reassurance program.

The Jersey Coast Chapter is honoring our hometown heroes as part of our annual celebration of Red Cross Month. Whether you are a blood donor, a financial contributor, a volunteer, or one of the many local organizations with which we partner, we salute you. In fact, we have set up a special Web site with profiles of just a few of our hometown heroes. You can visit it at www.redcrosshometownheroes.org/chapter/NJ/jersey-coast.

Bill Murray


American Red Cross

Jersey Coast Chapter

Tinton Falls/Toms River