HC Red Cross having open house to encourage volunteers | Local News

The western Kentucky chapter of the American Red Cross will have an open house and ribbon-cutting on Thursday to encourage volunteers, and to show off their new office space.

The event is from noon to 4 pm at 10 S. Main Street at the Old Courthouse.

Misty Thomas, executive director of the western Kentucky chapter of the American Red Cross, said they hope to encourage the community to visit the new location and ask about volunteer opportunities.

“We have five lines of service community preparedness; biomedical, which is our blood drives; disaster response; services to the armed forces; and international deployment,” she said. “You can volunteer within a myriad of places in those lines of services.”

Thomas said the purpose of the open house is for the community to come by and learn more about those lines of services. There is a quiz on the American Red Cross website that can match your natural knowledge, skills, and abilities to different volunteer opportunities.

“A lot of times, they don’t realize the depth of the services we offer,” said Thomas.

The Red Cross not only handles blood donations and responds to house fires and disasters, but they also do a lot of community preparedness, first aid classes, hands-only CPR classes, and Prepare with Pedro a pillowcase project.

“I want people to understand that no matter what their interest may be, there is probably a place at Red Cross for you to volunteer your time,” said Thomas.

Thomas began discussing the move with Judge-Executive Jack Whitfield and members of the Hopkins County Fiscal Court earlier this year in response to the Dec. 10 tornado.

At a meeting in March, she told the court that the Red Cross didn’t arrive in Dawson Springs until the fifth day following the tornado, mostly because the local organization has lacked the capacity to respond to a major disaster. A large cause of that limited capacity has been the lack of space.

“We (had) an office here, but (it was) in a very obscure place on the second floor of the US Bank,” she said. “Its hard to get to and there is no signage.”

Thomas said the purpose of the local American Red Cross is to set up shelters in the field immediately following a disaster, providing first aid and shelter, as well as meeting any other mental and physical health needs.

She hopes the new location will allow the organization to grow and train its membership so that they will be ready if and when they are needed again.

To learn more about the western Kentucky chapter of the American Red Cross, visit https://www.redcross.org/local/kentucky/about-us/locations/western-kentucky-chapter.html. To learn more about volunteering, visit redcross.org/volunteer.


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