Wednesday, April 26, 2017

National Volunteer Week: Judy Cothern

Everyone in Simpson County knows Judy Cothern for her servant’s heart and involvement with a number of organizations throughout South Central Kentucky.

Judy became aware of the American Red Cross when a family member experienced a fire and Red Cross volunteers responded. This got her attention. She decided she wanted to learn more and put the mission of the Red Cross to the test. After her initial training she decided she was ready to respond to see if volunteering for the Red Cross was a fit for her. Unfortunately, the first home fire she responded to was one of her neighbors. While it was heartbreaking, she found it rewarding to have the tools and resources to help during one of life’s darkest moments. Judy has been instrumental in leading Red Cross initiatives in Simpson County and South Central Kentucky ever since.

Judy serves as the Community Volunteer Lead for the Red Cross in Simpson County, conducting volunteer meetings and recruiting volunteers. She is the Disaster Action Team Captain and responds 24/7 to fires, floods and tornadoes. She serves as a liaison between the Red Cross and local Emergency Management. She has opened and operated shelters following floods and an apartment fire.

Judy has taught disaster preparedness to teens and the Pillowcase Project, a preparedness program for children, to third through fifth graders in Simpson County. The children are then encouraged to go home and teach their families. She finds empowering children to know what to do during a disaster incredibly rewarding.

Judy’s services are not only limited to Simpson County. She also serves as a mentor to the Logan County Disaster Action Team, and has assisted with fires, flooding and tornado responses throughout all of South Central Kentucky. She has deployed on several national disasters, not only to help those impacted, but to grow her knowledge and skills to better serve here at home.

In addition to her work with the American Red Cross, Judy is very involved with the American Cancer Society and Relay for Life. She is active in her church, and this past winter, became very involved with Franklin’s Room in the Inn, which housed homeless throughout the coldest months of the year.

Judy has aligned herself with organizations that are there during some of life’s darkest hours – disaster, cancer, homelessness. Her passion and love for others is contagious. She wants people to feel valued and have the best the world has to offer, and her selflessness is an inspiration to anyone she meets.

If you would like to find out more about joining the Red Cross as a volunteer, please visit

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