Friday, April 22, 2016

Volunteer Profile: Savannah Westerfield


When people think of the Red Cross usually Blood or Disaster Services come to mind. However, volunteer Savannah Westerfield plays a different role within the organization. Savannah serves as a Public Affairs volunteer where she currently helps manage the social media platforms for the Bluegrass Area Chapter. She shares relevant and important information through the chapter’s Facebook page, responds to messages, and she also helps write press releases. 

Savannah has always had an interest in volunteering. In college she worked with other members of a University of Kentucky campus ministry, raising money to buy shovels, gloves, masks, and supplies to help with the cleanup after Hurricane Katrina hit. They traveled to the town of Pass Christian, Mississippi, and it was devastated; the aftermath of Katrina was the “most gut wrenching thing” she had ever seen. There were volunteers from all different organizations helping, but the one that stuck out to her most was the Red Cross.

Fast forward several years later, Savannah finally found herself with some spare time. Having been moved by the help the Red Cross provided after Hurricane Katrina, she looked into volunteering with the organization and saw there was a need for a Public Affairs volunteer. Given her education and experience in the field, she figured it was fate and immediately signed up. “Working with the Red Cross, you see firsthand how quickly an unexpected disaster can change a person's life. It means a lot to know I play a small part in helping people get back on their feet,” she said.

One of Savannah’s fondest memories with the Red Cross occurred last year when she helped with a WKYT TV telethon to help raise funds for the flash flood victims of Johnson County. “I was amazed to hear the stories people called in with about how they knew someone from Johnson County, or they had been a flood victim before and just wanted to help this time, tens of thousands of dollars were raised by a state that came together to help the flood victims, it was very encouraging to be a part of,” she said.

Savannah stresses the importance of volunteering, especially with the Red Cross. “You can be the volunteer today and the client tomorrow,” she said. “It's just important to help out your neighbors when you can, since you never know when you might need the same help.”

If you would like to join the Red Cross as a volunteer, please visit www.redcross.org/volunteer.

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