Forty-five years ago Lucy Blankenship asked me to volunteer for the Boyle County Chapter of the American Red Cross, which later became the Central Kentucky Chapter.
My job was to pour orange juice at the blood drives. During the past nine and a half years, I have had the pleasure of serving as executive director of the chapter. I have worked beside such dedicated individuals as Crystal McPherson of the Family Services Association, Dan and Heather Nelson at the Salvation Army, and C.R. Payne at the Bluegrass Community Action Agency. We tried to work together to see that our limited dollars could do the most.
I am grateful for the Red Cross volunteers who were always there when help was needed and to the donors who always came forward when help was needed.
I am grateful for the professionalism shown to me by the police, firemen, and the 911 dispatchers who were so helpful in time of an emergency. Also a thanks to the government officials in both counties who always were so cooperative.
A special thanks goes to chapter board members during my tenure. I am honored to call each of them “friend.”
However, it is time for a new beginning. A large number of Red Cross personnel from across the nation had their positions abolished, and mine was one of them. The chapter will now be staffed with personnel from the Lexington chapter. However, I am proud to be a part of the new Boyle-Mercer County Helping Hands Association.
This organization will be governed by a board composed of many of the same individuals with whom I served at the Red Cross. In short, this organization is home folks looking out for home folks. I am pleased that I will be serving alongside many of the volunteers with whom I worked at the Red Cross. I hope that 45 years from now some of the teens who are planning to work with the association now will become its leaders then.