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