SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — A Scottsdale woman, celebrating her 97th birthday, is being recognized for her 79 years of volunteer work at the American Red Cross.
Betty Grenig is now the oldest and longest-serving volunteer for the organization. She’s full of energy and can’t say enough about her love for helping people.
Grenig started volunteering at the age of 17, knitting socks for the troops. The Red Cross "Knit Your Bit" slogan started in World War I, as a way to get people to knit for soldiers. Grenig knitted dozens of socks that year.
Throughout the years, Grenig has served soldiers all over the world. From "Knit Your Bit,” to sterilizing and wrapping hospital surgical instruments, bookkeeping for nurses, and administrative jobs. Those include preparing packets of resources for people affected by disaster.
When she moved to Phoenix in 1961, Grenig began working at Williams Air Force Base hospital, as a Red Cross volunteer. Her late husband Bob also joined her to volunteer when he retired in the 80s.
Fast forward to 1993, Betty and Bob transferred to Luke Air Force Base when Williams closed. Grenig continued her work at Luke until 2015. That’s when she started her administrative support work at the Greater Phoenix Chapter once a week.
As a special treat to staff and volunteers, Grenig brings in a homemade cake once a month. This month, the Red Cross provided the cake. It wasn't only a birthday celebration, but also a huge thank you to their special friend.
Volunteers constitute about 90 percent of the American Red Cross workforce. Volunteers make it possible to respond to nearly 64,000 disasters every year.