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Henderson County Leadership Team
Executive Director: Mike Williams (click here to email Mike)
Administrative Director: Shelby Lands (click here to email Shelby)
Disaster Services Director: Phil King (Volunteer) (click here to email Phil)
Health & Safety Services Director: Andrea McGuire (click here to email Andrea)
IT Manager: Jeremy Yanavok (Volunteer) (click here to email Jeremy)
Regional Blood Donor Recruitment Rep: Bill Roseborough (click here to email Bill)
Regional Emergency Services Director: Tony Reid (click here to email Tony)
A guest editorial from our Executive Director to our Community
(as printed in March 25, 2007 Hendersonville Times News)
Recently it came to my attention that not everyone recognizes March as American Red Cross month. As I have learned from experience to do, I asked my wife to explain this to me. “Why isn’t everyone excited about Red Cross month and all that we’re doing?”, I asked. Her sage response was “if you don’t tell them, how will they know?” Heeding her advice, may I tell you about your Red Cross?
Your Red Cross is the Henderson County Chapter of the American Red Cross. The chapter was first established in 1917 and it has served our community since. When neighbors are left homeless due to an early morning fire, we’re there to provide them shelter, clothing to wear and food to eat. When the doctors schedule your surgery, they’re counting on the life-saving blood that your Red Cross collected here in Henderson County for your medical needs. Not long ago, I met a prominent, local businessman who told me that our weekly diagnostic blood-screening program had saved his life by detecting his elevated prostate-specific antigen. People are learning lifesaving first-aid skills through our health and safety classes. Just in the past 12 months, your Red Cross has probably affected the life of a relative, friend or neighbor. As a matter of fact, your Red Cross may very well be you since we are primarily a volunteer organization with over 120 active, local volunteers.
Can I tell you more? Our disaster services, in partnership with DSS and the Health Department are always on standby to open emergency shelters whenever necessary. In December of 2005, a Red Cross shelter operated for seven days due to the county-wide power outage, providing hot meals and hot showers in addition to a place to sleep. Last month, the Red Cross, DSS, Health Department, and the Salvation Army conducted a training exercise just to make sure that we were all prepared to work together to open a shelter. The fact that there hasn’t been the need to open an emergency shelter recently doesn’t take away our commitment to be prepared if a shelter does become necessary. During Hurricanes Katrina and Rita we deployed 88 local volunteers to the Gulf Coast to work, but even now we have local disaster volunteers working in Alabama and Georgia as a result of the terrible tornadoes there. Just as our local chapter assists other areas of the country, we benefit by having the rest of the American Red Cross standing by to assist us here in Henderson County if needed.
Our blood donation program provides convenient, local opportunities for you to donate blood, the “gift of life”. The over 5,000 units of blood collected in Henderson County ensure that our hospitals have the blood necessary for surgeries, cancer patients, complications with pre-mature babies, and other critical needs. Did you know that only 5% of eligible blood donors actual give blood? Thank you to those of you who do donate!
Your Red Cross is also teaching life-saving skills to over 3,000 people right here in Henderson County. We offer first-aid, CPR, babysitting skills and other classes designed to help people prepare for and respond to emergencies in their workplaces, homes and communities. Acknowledging our county population of over 97,000, we’re committed to bringing these skills to even more of you. We also have need-based scholarships available, with the help of donors and the United Way, because we believe that anyone and everyone can benefit from being better prepared to save a life. On Wednesdays mornings we also provide wellness services including low-cost blood work and free blood pressure checks. Last year, 911 people came through the chapter for those services.
Locally, as well as nationally, your Red Cross is assisting our American armed forces personnel and their families with emergency communications and needs. Just last month we were contacted by an Army sergeant who was stranded here with too many car problems and not enough money. This two-time Iraq veteran and his wife had come to Hendersonville to visit his hospice-patient grandfather. Unexpected car repairs left them without money to return to his New Jersey base until your Red Cross was able to cut a check to get them through that emergency. During the past year we also provided emergency services for 52 other military families right here in Henderson County.
Your Chapter of the American Red Cross really is making a difference in the lives of people, here in our community and our country. You can help. Consider getting involved as a volunteer and help us help others. If you’re not already, become a financial supporter. Your financial contributions make our work possible; we need and sincerely appreciate that support. Finally, celebrate Red Cross month and get to know us better. Visit us at our website, www.hcredcross.org, or the old-fashioned way at our Second Avenue East office. Happy Red Cross month!
Henderson County Chapter of the American Red Cross