July Spotlight: Joan Purrington

Joan Purrington, second from the left, celebrates alongside the Woodbury High School Red Cross Club after their successful community fundraiser raised $1,500 for Hurricane Dorian relief efforts.


Joan Purrington’s commitment to the Red Cross is undeniable. She first got involved with the Red Cross in 1966 as a physical therapist for the Red Cross-sponsored Adapted Aquatics program in St. Paul, Minnesota. Having always enjoyed volunteering with others, joining the Red Cross volunteer force was a natural next step, as it was the perfect opportunity to combine her experience in aquatics, physical therapy, and love of giving back to the community.

Since then, Joan has taken on a wide array of roles within the Red Cross. She is a blood donor and also volunteers at various blood drives within her community, including at the Minnesota State Fair, YMCA, high school clubs, and the 12 Hours of Giving blood donation event. She’s also installed fire alarms, presented for the Pillowcase Project program, and worked with the Woodbury Red Cross Club and Red Cross Club Coordinators to help youth programs. Joan has also served on Red Cross committees, such as serving as Chair on the St. Paul Chapter board and as a member on the Minnesota Regional Blood Board.

One of her favorite memories with the Red Cross was “celebrating with the Woodbury High School Red Cross Club making their blood drive goal.” Earlier this year, Joan helped the Woodbury High School Red Cross Club prepare our annual blood drive. Despite some unforeseen scheduling issues, Joan helped ensured that all the donors still had a pleasant experience, and by the end, the blood drive was a huge success –  the club’s goal was exceeded by 33 units!

The club had also once posed the idea of organizing blanket tying parties, and Joan immediately offered to pitch in to help source the fleece. He enthusiasm to help and give, along with her warm personality and huge heart, is incredibly inspiring. Her favorite part about volunteering with the Red Cross, she reflects, is “the opportunity to volunteer for a mission-driven organization that saves lives and supports others in our community, alongside other volunteers of all ages and backgrounds, with an exemplary paid staff team.”

Thank you for all that you do, Joan!

– Sarah Zhang, MN Region Field Ambassador 2019-2020

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Volunteer Connection

Volunteer Connection