Cleveland's Most Treasured Volunteers: Mark Cline
When working years end, many look forward to lazy mornings, maybe some golf, and indulging in a more leisurely pace of life.
That wasn’t the case for Mark Cline of Euclid.
Cline spent his career with Continental-- now United Airlines--including working on the Emergency Response Team at Cleveland Hopkins Airport. He also spent more than 20 years as a volunteer firefighter in Wickliffe.
When his working career came to an end, Cline said he couldn’t just sit on the sidelines. He said he tried the “retired” lifestyle and it "got old real quick.” Instead, he wanted to continue helping others.
“I had a lot time on my hands. And I think right now one of the worst things that people can do is have time on their hands and think," said Cline.
He connected with the American Red Cross' Geater Cleveland chapter through Greater Cleveland Volunteers.
Cline says he was looking for a way to continue using his emergency response training and expertise. His tireless volunteer work led to his current position as the Disaster Program Manager's Volunteer Partner for the American Red Cross of Greater Cleveland. This volunteer leadership position is a key part of the Disaster Action Team--the team that goes into action to help when fire, flood or other disasters strike.
The American Red Cross says its mission critically depends on its volunteers and that Mark’s efforts have been invaluable.
“He has taken on every role that we've asked of him and even many that we haven't asked. He's constantly stepping up. He is the example of a committed dedicated volunteer,” said Timothy O’Toole, Regional Disaster Officer, NE Ohio Region, American Red Cross
Cline says being able to be there when someone needs it most is an experience without comparison.
“There are things that you can't put a price on. When you show up in the middle of the night and somebody doesn't know where they're going. What's going to happen. And you say, ‘Hey I can help you.'”
In his role with the Red Cross Disaster Action Team, Cline puts in 40 hour weeks, is on-call, and helps lead training for new team members.
While that may not be the right fit for everyone, Cline says there is a volunteer opportunity out there for everybody.
“There's something out there for everybody. Whether it's once a week to go to the schools to help a third grader read or if it's Meals on Wheels . Or making phone calls to the seniors or people that can't get out of their house.”
Cline says his love of service goes back to his earliest childhood when he learned the value of volunteering and giving back from his parents. He hopes to be an example for his own children and grandchildren.
The Center for Community Solutions named Cline one of its Most Treasured Volunteers in October. The Greater Cleveland Volunteers awarded him its David F. Leahy Award for Volunteer Excellence in September.
If you are interested in finding a volunteer position to suit your abilities and interests, you can contact Greater Cleveland Volunteers.
Mark Cline/Disaster Program Managers’ Volunteer Partner/American Red Cross of Greater Cleveland
Timothy O’Toole/Regional Disaster Officer, NE Ohio Region, American Red Cross