"This chapter has come a long way."
Red Cross Director Paige Roberts stood before a crowd of volunteers and board members Tuesday praising the Southeast Mississippi Chapter for its hard work and dedication over the years.
"This chapter has went through some growing pains in past few years, to be hit by Katrina put us back some, and now we are getting off the ground," Roberts said.
Roberts says one way the chapter can do better is by recruiting more volunteers. She says since Katrina, many people have either moved away or had to give up volunteering to deal with personal issues.
With a long hurricane season ahead of us, Roberts says she would like to see more boots on the ground if disaster strikes.
"We would really like to see people come in and tell us what their interest are, what their talents and training and expertise are, and let us place you somewhere and get you trained."
Board Chairman Micah Hoskins agrees. Hoskins says volunteers are always welcome, as well as monetary donations to help fully stock the ten hurricane shelters this branch of the Red Cross will run.
"We have a special needs shelter that will open up in East Central in partnership with various organizations."
Despite the continuing needs, both woman say the Red Cross is ready, willing and able to help South Mississippians.
"The Red Cross is here in the community working everyday with other responders, working toward the same goal as we do, and that is making a safe place for people to live when disaster comes."
Roberts says the chapter now has a $50,000 reserve fund to help with Red Cross necessities.
If you'd like to learn more about volunteering for the Southeast Mississippi Red Cross, you can call (228) 762-2455 or send an email to email@example.com.