Thanks to the articair, Emergency Services Staff and Volunteers, joined by many other staff, have spent the beginning of the new year opening and staffing warming shelters and overnight shelters. I cannot express my gratitude to those of you who braved the frigid temperature to come to the assistance of the people of NE Ohio. I have heard the stories of the those who braved the weather to get to our shelters, some arriving without shoes, winter clothing or other necessary essentials. Our sheltering services literally meant the difference between life and death for many of our clients. January is one of our busiest months for response.
The first 6 months of FY14 were energetic as we continued our day to day work with the addition of new initiatives and new staff. We led the first ever thought leaders conference in support of returning military in NE Ohio and have committed ourselves to continue to convene this group as it begins its work on assisting the military in assimilating back into the community, with a primary emphasis on jobs. This spring we will welcome back our own military member, Cory Paul, and we are grateful for his safe return.
I was also pleased to welcome Charlotte Rerko, COO, who is charged with driving operational excellence, increasing volunteer and staff capacity and raising the performance of the region. Mary Williams joined us as a new member of our communications staff and has already proved to be a strong contributor in the area of social media.
We also secured support for Rape Crisis counseling in Steubenville and continued to provide necessary financial support to continue our transportation program and the Nurse Assistant Program.
I urge all of you to begin planning how to leverage “March is Red Cross Month” which will be heavily supported by the national organization. We are hopeful to hold Dominion Preparededness day that month but there are also other opportunities to get the word out about the many opportunities for volunteer service (with special emphasis on the need for disaster volunteers) and to remind those that you know that the Red Cross is dependent on the generosity of donors to deliver our services.
I am looking forward to the completion of another excellent year and, with all of your help and leadership, I know that it will be.