Friday, August 31, 2012

First Deployment, First Pin

AmeriCorps members Jeremiah Bush from the South Central Kentucky Chapter in Bowling Green, KY and Lauren Eargle from the Franklin County Chapter in Frankfort, KY, wait for their orders at an evacuation shelter in Orange, TX.

The past two weeks have been a whirlwind for AmeriCorps member Lauren Eargle. Only nine days after beginning her year of service, she has been trained in several disaster response courses, deployed to help with Hurricane Isaac relief, and received her first disaster pin.

“It’s been very fast paced,” Lauren said of training and deployment. “If this is what happens in two weeks, then I’m excited for two years.”

She is currently helping out at a shelter in Louisiana. Earlier this week, she was placed on a shelter team with Marty and Cindy Jones of Savannah, GA. The two experienced volunteers immediately took Lauren under their wing and presented her with her first disaster pin. Pins are kind of a big deal at the Red Cross. It’s a Red Cross tradition to exchange pins with workers from other areas while on deployment. Some volunteers have collected hundreds from across the country.

Lauren's first Red Cross disaster pin.

Training for her year of service as an AmeriCorps at the American Red Cross Franklin County Chapter began August 20. During six days in Louisville, she and seven others attended courses on shelter operations, client casework and disaster assessment among several others. She hopes that the experience she gains while deployed will help her excel when she returns to her regular responsibilities in Frankfort.

So far, the Kentuckiana Region has deployed 24 Red Cross workers to the Gulf Coast. For more information on what the Red Cross is doing to help areas affected by Hurricane Irene, visit

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Welcome Home Bobble Barton!

Bobble Barton outside her new home, the American Red Cross Louisville Area Chapter.
Back in June, we came across a story about collectible bobble heads handed out by the Hagerstown Suns, a minor league baseball team in Hagerstown, Maryland. We all love a good bobble head, but this one is particularly special—it is modeled in the likeness of our very own American Red Cross founder, Clara Barton.

It just so happens that our Manager of Volunteer Services, Paul Beede, has family in the D.C. area. Upon hearing about the existence of “Bobble Barton,” Paul’s grandmother Phyllis went on a quest to find one. Her search led her to the Washington County Maryland Red Cross where executive director, Julie Barr-Strasburg, graciously presented Phyllis with her very own Clara Barton bobble head.

Thanks to both Phyllis and Julie, Bobble Barton has a new home here in Louisville. It’s not in Clara’s nature to sit around on a shelf all day, so she will be pitching in at various chapter activities. Clara has a love for historical trivia and charitable actions, so we’ve given her a few goodies to give away as she makes new friends. Follow her excursions on our Facebook and Twitter pages (#bobblebarton) and keep an eye out for opportunities to win.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Why I Volunteer - Brianna Rodgers

The following was written by Brianna Rodgers, a youth volunteer administrative assistant at the Louisville Area Chapter who loves art and creative writing. She is a junior at J. Graham Brown School in Louisville.

I guess you can say that I have a desire to give and help out in any way I can. From a little girl on up I would always do something that was related to volunteering, no matter if it was lending a hand at a food drive from Dare to Care or becoming a C.I.T (Counselor in Training) at the YMCA I would always help out. The Red Cross and I share similar traits, which are the need to create change and the determination to follow through with our goals and mission.

The fact that I can save at least one person’s life is a blessing in itself, therefore, I'm grateful for this wonderful opportunity to help out with others who share the same goal as me. It is also a goal of mine to strive for change and peace among all nations. Because of this I stay updated on international current events and read about humanitarian law. It's a comfort to know that there are others like me, working together and living up to the Red Cross Mission.

We are living in a world where our technological advances bring us together and amplify our voices across the globe. Youth have historically played a very important role in the Red Cross and we are continuing that tradition. I am really excited to continue the legacy of Youth Volunteers at the Red Cross.

If you are interested in becoming a youth volunteer please e-mail our Youth Coordinator Kristen Lawrence at

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Youth Programs return to Louisville Area Chapter

We are excited to announce the re-boot of a chapter Youth Program for volunteers ages 12-17. Youth volunteers will now have the opportunity to get involved with the Red Cross in one of three ways: volunteer individually, join a Red Cross Club or partner with the Red Cross through a separate group or club (e.g. Girl Scouts, Civil Air Patrol).

Leading the chapter program is Youth Coordinator Kristen Lawrence. Kristen is a Louisville native who graduated from the University of Louisville with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology. Before coming to the Red Cross, she worked with the YMCA Youth Achievers and the Louisville Youth Advocates, a group that petitions for policy change in west Louisville neighborhoods.

Having both participated in and led community groups such as the YMCA Leader’s Club and Black Achievers, Kristen is familiar with effective youth programs and understands what draws youth to participate in clubs—things like hands-on experience, networking opportunities and making friends.

“A lot of [youth] genuinely want to make a difference—not just for the name, but because they want to do something good,” said Kristen.

Currently, Kristen is meeting with youth coordinators throughout the Louisville region to collect ideas and best practices. Once the Louisville Area Chapter program is fully up and running, she hopes to collaborate with other groups to develop a region-wide event or initiative.

At this time, the program is in its recruiting phase. Once registered, new volunteers attend a youth volunteer orientation where they learn the history of the Red Cross, participate in games and learn about volunteer opportunities. If you know someone between the ages of 12 and 17 that is interested in becoming a Red Cross youth volunteer, please contact Kristen at (502) 561-3608 or e-mail