70-year-old Red Cross volunteer helps families find shelter from Hurricane Florence

CLEVELAND - Nearly 30 Red Cross volunteers from Northeast Ohio are now along the East Coast, helping with Hurricane Florence.

One of those volunteers is Tom Quinn — it’s his sixth hurricane. And he’s 70 years old.

The Medina native flew down on Wednesday and is now working the overnight shift at an emergency shelter in Charleston, South Carolina.

“It is a wonderful job to help people who have been displaced from their homes,” Quinn said. He’s been volunteering with the Red Cross for about seven years now, donated blood for decades before that. He’s been to help with hurricanes in Houston, Baton Rouge, Austin, Charleston, and Puerto Rico.

He has no plans to slow down.

“Oh, I met a volunteer in Houston who was 85 two years ago and that gave me a whole new idea,” Quinn said. “I probably can do it until I’m 85 or 90.”

And if you need even more proof that he’s the one you can count on — he hasn’t called off sick from work since 1978. In fact, Quinn said, he retired from 30 years at Goodyear with perfect attendance.

But Quinn may have a little competition — an 87-year-old volunteer from Ashland was deployed Friday along with three other Red Cross volunteers, including veteran volunteers Sue Wisdom and Susie Muetzel. The pair has been volunteering since Hurricane Katrina.

“You couldn’t pay us for this, wouldn’t take it. It’s a heart thing, you know?” Muetzel said. “We take care of people.”

The four volunteers and mobile units are heading to Macon, Georgia to be staged before being dispatched where they’re needed most.

The volunteers will be on the ground for at least two weeks.

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