Red Cross Heroes: John Yates III

On Saturday, October 15, the American Red Cross Hawaii Chapter will honor nine people and one dog for their contributions to the community. All week long, Steve Uyehara will introduce you to these Red Cross Heroes on Hawaii News Now Sunrise. Our 2nd hero is Kona's John Yates III.

John Yates is the store manager of the Walmart in Kona and has been on the West Hawaii Advisory Council since 2009.

His community involvement, caring and passion are among the reasons why he is such a valued volunteer leader.

During times of disaster such as flooding Walmart consistently donates items such as cleaning supplies and water to families that are affected.

But John and his company really stepped up big after the tsunami back in March.

"Our parking lot became a safe haven," said John. "So if you can imagine bumper to bumper, filled with people, all the hotels didn't have a place for people to go. So when they were asked to evacuate they actually came up to our parking lot."

The Kona location normally closes at midnight but John made sure it stayed open throughout the night. He ensured people had a place to stay, a bathroom to use, and food and supplies.

But aside from that, John's advice and assistance on the annual Hats-off fundraiser has ensured its success and increased revenue.

And his positive attitude and enthusiasm are conveyed to his Walmart employees who volunteer their time and efforts to assist the Red Cross.

John Yates III is the West Hawaii volunteer of the year.