Los Altos residents Mary Sanbrook and mother Fran Theiss were honored April 27.
COURTESY OF TRISH BUBENIK
Los Altos resident Mary Sanbrook received the Crystal Bowl Award for outstanding volunteer at the Junior League of San Jose's annual Volunteer Recognition Luncheon April 27.
Sanbrook, nominated by Trish Bubenik, executive director of the Palo Alto Area Chapter, American Red Cross, was among 16 recipients of the award. Sanbrook's mother, Fran Theiss, was also honored with a certificate for her volunteer service. Theiss donates an average of 20 hours per week to Vision Literacy as a tutor at the Santa Clara County Elmwood Correctional Facility in Milpitas.
Sanbrook went to the Red Cross in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, ready to help in any way she could. While awaiting her interview with the volunteer manager, Sanbrook helped at the reception desk, answering phones and questions from walk-ins.
"That pretty much typifies Mary's attitude, which is, 'I can do that!'" Bubenik said. "Mary quickly found her niche in client services, aiding Katrina victims who had relocated to our area, and proved to be a very capable and caring case manager. She's been a major asset to the chapter ever since."
In addition to her compassion, Sanbrook used her experience as a paralegal law office manager to manage cases effectively.
Within a couple of months of signing on as a volunteer, Sanbrook was deployed to Florida to serve on the Hurricane Wilma disaster relief operation as an emergency response vehicle driver, then transferred to Gulfport to aid Katrina victims.