Update from the Brookings County Chapter Chair

In my last blog post, I wrote about how I was faced with a disaster response situation – and I’m not disaster trained. That opened up my eyes to the fact that I needed to expand my involvement in our organization. So last month, I attended my first disaster class, “Fulfilling Our Mission.” Not only did it give me a good refresher on the basics of our organization and disaster response, but I also got to meet individuals who are interested in helping others by being disaster volunteers for the Red Cross. It made me proud to be a volunteer leader. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to catch any more classes this year, as my chapter only offers them once a year.  But I plan to continue and take at least a couple more next year!

Other than expanding myself by taking my first disaster class, my duties have been pretty normal. We easily handled a situation in our Watertown office, thanks to our great new employee there. We are starting to feel growing pains in our office and are in the process of looking for a new office. It’s hard to give up our current location because it is owned by the city and they let us use it free of charge. Our board meets next Monday and I get to propose to them a new location. Unfortunately, the proposal will take a chunk out of our reserves, but this is the kind of thing our big donors would want us to do with the money. The new location we are considering is big enough that we could hold all of our classes there, instead of paying to hold them elsewhere. It also is on one of the major streets in town, so we will be more visible to the community. We will see what the rest of the board thinks. Should be an interesting meeting!

Another great thing happening for my chapter is that one of my college representatives to the board is attending the National Youth Institute. I still remember my time at NYI, and cherish it as one of the reasons I’m so engaged in the Red Cross. I hope Jolene has a great time. Until next time, keep doing what you do so well, fellow Red Crossers!

Jessica Mueller, South Dakota

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