Sharon Kesselring celebrates 30 years at the American Red Cross

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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - 30 years at one company in most professions seems like an eternity. No one has plans to stay at one location for 30 years of their life.

Fortunately, for Sharon Kesselring, she has been able to call the Northwest West Virginia American Red Cross her home for 30 years.

What started off as a part-time job, has grown into so much more. Sharon's first duties at the Red Cross were to find blood drive sponsors. She was nowhere near where the blood was being given.

After only two months, she landed a full-time position with the company, and was more hands-on.

Sharon has been involved with many local and natural disasters in her time, and she says that doing the hands-on care for people is a reason why she stuck around for so long.

"Every major disaster we had locally, or nationally, really left an impression on me," Kesselring said. "Hurricane Katrina and the affect it had, and the three weeks of direct service I was able to provide... it was an amazing adventure."

She is not always comfortable with talking about, or giving credit to herself. She says that all the hard work done by willing volunteers is what needs to be recognized during her 30 years of service.

"They are just the absolute best thing in the world, when it comes to this job is our volunteers," she said. "They’re the finest people in the world. You can’t find them any better than at American Red Cross.”

She admits that there have been struggles with juggling family, home life and her work life. Kesselring's family's support and vote of confidence drives her to come to work every day, whenever she is called.

"My husband would probably tell you that, I work more than I live," Sharon said. "He is so understanding, when I have to go out in the middle of the night, or if i have to work a weekend. And he has always said that he knew when he married me that I’d be the person that’d have to give to the community."

As for her future, she may not see herself working another 30 years, but she still wants to work for the Red Cross and continue serving the community that has welcomed her throughout her tenure.

"I’m not ready to leave tomorrow," said Kesselring. "Until something occurs that I’m no longer capable of doing this position. And that time will probably come at some point. And I’d like to think I have the right emotional support to know when I’m going to need to no longer do that job.

The American Red Cross is always looking for willing volunteers that have the same drive to care for others as she does.