Friday, July 25, 2014

Chapter Announces 2015 Gala Chair, Vice Chair

Maria Triplett, left, and Erin Rasinen, right, will lead the 2015 Wrapped in Red Gala steering committee.
The results are in from the 4th Annual Wrapped in Red Gala and Red Lounge. The Louisville Area Chapter’s signature event raised $157,000 for community disaster programs through sponsorships, ticket sales and auction purchases. Thanks to our 2014 Chair Randy Blevins, Vice Chair Maria Triplett, the Wrapped in Red steering committee and volunteers who donated their time and expertise to make the event a success!

Louisville Area Chapter Board Member and 2014 Gala Vice Chair Maria Triplett will be leading the 2015 Gala. Maria is President and Owner of TSI Paving—a family owned and operated business providing services in the areas of pavement maintenance, storm water drainage repairs and sanitary sewer repairs for residential, commercial and industrial clients. In addition to her service on the Louisville Area Chapter Board of Directors, Maria is a member of the National Association of Women in Construction and the Executive Womens Golf Association.

Maria will be joined by Vice Chair Erin Rasinen who has chaired the Gala design and d├ęcor committee for the past four years. Erin began her career with Messer Construction in 2004. In 2012, Erin was promoted to senior management at Messer and is now a partner in the firm. She is involved in many industry and community organizations, and serves on the board of directors for the Louisville Chapter of the National Association of Women in Construction, the Kentuckiana-Post of the Society of American Military Engineers, the Sacred Heart Academy Alumnae Association and Kentucky Derby Festival.

If you are interested in serving on the Wrapped in Red Gala planning committee, becoming a Wrapped in Red sponsor or donating an auction item, please contact Amber Youngblood at (502) 561-3711 or

Thursday, July 17, 2014

My Volunteer Experience with the Red Cross

Abu Sufiyan interviews a woman living in a portion of Bangladesh often affected by floods and river erosion. The interview was part of a case study he completed while working for Concern Worldwide in 2009. The case study assessed the affect of interventions by non-profits and volunteers following a disaster and what additional assistance was required.
 The following was written by Red Cross volunteer Abu Sufiyan.

I began my volunteer service with American Red Cross in June of 2014. I recently graduated from University of Louisville with a specialization in Disaster Management. I joined the Red Cross volunteer service to use my newly open time to contribute to the lives of disaster affected people. I am excited to use my knowledge and experience in a new and practical environment.

First, I met with the communication team of the Louisville Area Chapter of the American Red Cross. I was introduced to the blog and social media of the chapter and discussed the different volunteer opportunities with the American Red Cross. I expressed my interest in interviewing people and writing stories about the feelings, needs, and experiences of the community members in the aftermath of a disaster.

I have been volunteering ever since I was in college and one of the activities I have always enjoyed was helping others and service to the community. When I first learned about volunteer opportunities in American Red Cross, I was very much interested as the organization is bringing real change in the lives of disaster affected people every day. I believe that everyone should dedicate some time for service to humanity. As Gandhi said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

I am originally from Bangladesh, a country that is not only poor but also affected by cyclones, floods, and other coastal hazards almost every year. After viewing the sufferings of people while I was working for an international humanitarian organization, I decided to take a career path that will alleviate the sufferings of people in a disaster situation. I have completed my doctoral dissertation on the differential of disasters on the poor in the Gulf Coast region. From my experience from two countries, I understand that the sufferings of the people are not much different in the aftermath of a disaster, and people need utmost help to return to the normal lifestyle.

Later I was introduced to the online learning opportunities at the Saba website of the Red Cross. I have already completed eight courses on disaster management. It is quite interesting that new volunteers can take courses in the comfort of their home. I feel that the courses on disaster services, diversity, sensitivity, and awareness, disaster assessment, disaster planning and public affairs were really informative and provide practical knowledge about disaster services. I am willing to continue my volunteer services with the American Red Cross.

We are excited to welcome Abu to the Red Cross team! For more information on becoming a Red Cross volunteer at the Louisville Area Chapter, visit