Local Red Cross unit offers up ideas for its volunteers

Friday, November 17, 2006

More than 20 Red Cross volunteers gathered at the Putnam County Courthouse Annex Thursday evening for a meet-and-greet session with each other.

The Putnam County Red Cross Unit, a division of the American Red Cross of Wabash Valley, conducted the meeting with the hope of getting to know each other a little better and to meet Executive Director Carol Stevens.

Stevens was unable to attend Thursday's meeting. However, Putnam County Red Cross Unit community Development Director Christine Klinger was on hand Thursday.

"This is a forum for us to introduce our volunteers to our new executive director," Klinger said. "This is a good opportunity for them to connect."

Klinger decorated the room adjacent to the Red Cross office with old newspaper clippings depicting what the local unit has been involved in over the course of nearly 20 years. In addition, she had memorabilia set up and refreshments were served.

Unit Chairperson and Leadership Council member Ginger Scott said the local unit has grown significantly over the course of the past 20 years.

"When we started, I'd say we had four to five on the board," she said. "But over the years, we've grown. Now we have 15 members on the leadership council."

Scott added the forum was helpful for all the local volunteers.

"This is for the volunteers that we presently have to meet (Klinger)," she said, "and to get together. We try to have something similar to it each year."

Klinger took office in June. The local unit meshed with other units in Clay, Greene, Parke, Sullivan, Vermillion and Vigo counties in July to form the American Red Cross Wabash Valley Chapter.

Klinger said the local unit has nearly 70 volunteers currently and is preparing itself for the new year.

"We're going to be doing more community outreach programs with the schools (regarding) disaster preparedness," Klinger said.

Klinger said the local unit will be involved in a proposed mock disaster drill set for 2007 for the Greencastle Community School Corp.

Officials have not set a date for the drill, but it is tentatively set for April and will involve several agencies.

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