Representatives from the American Red Cross said this week they are seeking to increase their presence in Grayson County moving forward.

Grayson County native Misty Thomas, who serves as executive director of the Western Kentucky Red Cross chapter, and Jennifer Capps, executive director of the South Central Kentucky Red Cross chapter (which contains Grayson County) addressed the Grayson County Fiscal Court on Tuesday morning regarding the need for more local representation.

Thomas said the Red Cross is looking to increase its presence in the counties it serves and is seeking a Grayson County member for the South Central Kentucky chapter’s Board of Directors, as well as more local volunteers.

Capps said that, in the last year, the Red Cross responded to 14 home fires and other disasters in Grayson County, assisted 33 individuals with a total of $9,300 of direct financial assistance, and collected almost 600 units of blood.

However, the Red Cross would like to be able to do more in Grayson County, and, in order to do that, more volunteers are needed to advocate for Grayson County’s needs.

“Red Cross is 90% volunteers,” Thomas said.

With that in mind, Thomas said the Red Cross is requesting a $2,500 investment from the fiscal court to cover the first year fundraising goal of a Grayson County Red Cross board member to allow time for this individual to become acquainted with the organization’s work.

The Red Cross will also seek financial contributions from the cities of Leitchfield, Clarkson, and Caneyville in the near future, she said.

In addition to the Red Cross’s disaster response work and blood collection, the organization also operates the call centers through which armed service members may speak with their loved ones; provides CPR, heart attack, stroke, and general first aid training; and offers a free smoke alarm program for residents, among other services.

“We literally offer something that could help you tomorrow,” Thomas said.

Thomas noted that the Red Cross will continue to provide its services to Grayson County with or without a local board member and volunteers, but having that local representation would enable the organization to “come in with a heavier presence” if it knows what the county’s needs are.

“We’re already here working,” Thomas said. “I just want to up the presence.”

The fiscal court tabled a decision on whether to contribute the $2,500 until officials can find a board member to serve on Grayson County’s behalf, and is expected to resume the discussion at its next meeting.

The Red Cross South Central Kentucky chapter can be reached by phone at 270-781-7377, and more information is available at redcross.org/local/kentucky/about-us/locations/south-central-kentucky-chapter.html.

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