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The Red Cross wants you

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Local chapter needs volunteers

By Lindsay Kriz

Yesterday, the local chapter of the Red Cross, which includes Marion, Nelson and Washington counties, began their training for new volunteers.

According to Susan B. Hardin, executive director of the Nelson County Chapter, which serves Marion, Nelson and Washington counties, the Red Cross's mission is to relieve suffering related to disaster.

Such disasters include tornadoes, ice storms, floods, and fires, she said.

Volunteers are on call 24/7.

Another service that is finally coming together, Hardin said, is a military service support group for soldiers.

"That means that if a soldier has family who died over here, we find a way to get in contact with them and bring them home for the service," she said.

Michael Myers will be in charge of that operation, she said.

Classes will take place every Tuesday in Bardstown from 5:30-9:30 p.m. for the next five weeks in the back of Bardstown's Civic Center, which is located at 321 South Third Street.

Volunteers are not required to take all five classes, so any who missed out on the first class can still volunteer.                                                                                                            

Amber Youngblood, director of public relations for the Louisville area chapter, said that Jane Higdon of Lebanon has agreed to serve on the local chapter board.

"She is working diligently to recruit local volunteers to fulfill the Red Cross mission," she said.

Higdon said she became a member when Marion County Judge/Executive John G. Mattingly and Susan Hardin all approached her about becoming a board member.

"They came to us (Jane and her husband, Jimmy Higdon), and they were very convincing," she said. "I have the time do community volunteer work, so I said yes."

Higdon said that the city realized the need for a Marion County chapter after the devastating January 2009 ice storm.

"The city came together but not with the Red Cross," she said. "But if it's with the Red Cross we'll be much better next time."

Higdon said that so far 20 have volunteered to join the Marion County chapter.

"Every person coming to us and helping is a busy person," she said. "But they always step up and add one more thing. They're committed people."

Schedule of classes:

Aug. 9: Client Services

Aug. 16: Disaster assessment

Aug. 23: Mass care

Aug. 30: Psychological first aid