Under new leadership, the American Red Cross’s Gloucester chapter house on Route 17 at Hayes is expected to open to the community once again.
Patrick Belcher was named last spring as interim chapter executive of the Peninsula Cluster Red Cross offices, which includes the City of Poquoson, Gloucester, Mathews and York counties and the Colonial Virginia office in Williamsburg.
Recently, the Red Cross invested $4,000 into renovating the chapter house. "I wanted to feel comfortable having volunteers here (to man the office) on a day-to-day basis," Belcher said. "And we’ve invested this money to make sure this old farmhouse is comfortable and safe."
Belcher said it is his goal to have the building open and accessible to the public about 30 hours per week. Though this won’t be immediate, he hopes to start out in stages, with possibly having a volunteer or two in the building 12 hours a week to start.
"The best part of the job is hearing everybody’s story," Belcher said. "And I’ve discovered how much the Red Cross has been a part of my life," ranging from his time in the Boy Scouts of America, to giving blood and other charitable endeavors.