Thursday, February 14, 2019

Letter from Northeast Tennessee Executive Director, Kalen Collins - Feburary 2019

Kalen Collins, Executive Director

Chapter Happenings 

ERV Celebration of Life Party
On January 17, 2019, the Northeast Tennessee team gathered to celebrate the life of our beloved Emergency Response Vehicle #2123. Everyone took the time to share their fond memories of canteening, deploying, feeding and so much more with the ERV. Although we are sad to see 2123 go, we know that she is on to a better place.


Valentine’s Tree
With their creativity, Angela Morris and Glenna Finco joined together to create our Valentine’s Day tree! “American Red Cross Volunteers don’t have more time they just have more heart!” Don’t forget to drop by and grab your Valentine’s Day treat from the tree!

Service to Armed Forces Spreading the Love
On January 30, 2019, the Northeast TN Service to the Armed Forces Team gathered for their first kick-off meeting 2019. Updates and new activities were shared, and the team gathered to make Valentine’s for Veterans! Many exciting things are happening for this line of service. If you are wanting to learn more about SAF, please contact SAF Lead, Greg White (

Local Response
Responding to local home fires isn’t an unfamiliar area for Teresa Rhoton and Gene Egan. On January 30th, national dispatch reported a fire in the Northeast Tennessee area. After receiving the wrong address, they were finally able to locate the affected home. Once they were in the correct location, they also made certain to confirm the problem to validate that we could respond. Teresa and Gene went beyond the call of duty to ensure that our client was safe, by having lodging, clothing and food. Thank you, Teresa and Gene, for going above and beyond to serve the American Red Cross mission!

Northeast Tennessee: Volunteer and Training Opportunities - February 2019


Disaster Action Team (DAT) Volunteers
Volunteers needed to respond to single-family fires.

Clerical Volunteers
Volunteers needed to assist with administrative tasks; including staffing the front desk, answering phone calls, and assisting with other day to day tasks.

Service to Armed Forces (SAF) Volunteers
Volunteers need to represent the Red Cross at community events, deliver birthday and holiday cards, assist with other military events as needed.

Hero Care Network Regional Caseworker/Follow Up Volunteer
Volunteers needed to ensure military families’ needs are met when faced with an emergency.
*If you or someone you know is interested in any of these opportunities, please contact Kalen Collins for more information (


Introduction to Mapping Class
DATE:  02/11/2019
TIME:  10:00 AM
LOCATION: Red Cross NETN Office | 660 Eastern Star Road, Kingsport, TN 37663
INFORMATION:  Please contact Dawn Day for more information or to RSVP (

Integrated Care & Condolence Training
DATE: 02/15/2019
TIME:  12:00 PM-4:00 PM
LOCATION:  Knoxville, TN
INFORMATION: Please contact Dawn Day for more information or to RSVP (

Don’t forget to download the “Volunteer Connection” mobile application and log your volunteer hours! This app is both Android and iOS compatible.

Northeast Tennessee: Upcoming Dates - February 2019


All Volunteer Meeting
DATES:  03/14/2019; 04/04/2019; 05/02/2019
TIME:  12:00 PM-1:30 PM
LOCATION:  Red Cross NETN Office | 660 Eastern Star Road, Kingsport, TN 37663
INFORMATION:  Formal invitation to all volunteers will be distributed. Please note that the meeting for January has changed to 12:00 PM.

“Donut Forget”
DATES:  03/08/2019; 06/14/2019
TIME:  8:30 AM – 11:00 AM
LOCATION:  Red Cross NETN Office | 660 Eastern Star Road, Kingsport, TN 37663
INFORMATION:  This will be an opportunity for volunteers to enjoy coffee and donuts while logging volunteer hours and catching up on any trainings.


Color For A Cause
DATE:  03/12/2019
TIME:  5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
LOCATION:  Fort Henry Mall – 2101 Fort Henry Drive, Kingsport, TN 37664

Sound The Alarm, Save A Life. Signature Event
DATE:  04/27/2019
TIME:  8:00 AM – 2:00 PM
LOCATION:  Washington County, TN
INFORMATION:  Volunteers needed for this event; installers and educators. Please email Kalen Collins ( if you are interested in participating.

Sound The Alarm, Save A Life. Signature Event
ATE:  05/02/2019
LOCATION:  Appointment Based Installs
INFORMATION:  Volunteers needed; installers and educators. Please email Kalen Collins ( if you are interested in participating.


02/14/2019 | 11:45 AM – 4:15 PM
University School | 68 Martha Culp Avenue, Johnson City, TN 37614
*Please sign up to donate at

Northeast Tennessee Volunteer Spotlight: Kathy Christian - February 2019

When asked what she does as a volunteer for the Red Cross, Kathy stated, “My mother always told me I was a great ‘Jack of all Trades’ – I guess that is what I do best for the Red Cross!” Kathy, who lives in Hawkins County, took disaster training around 10 years ago, when the office building was located on Wilcox. She was not able to begin volunteering right away, but several years later when there was a storm in Greene County she got her chance. She was working as an administrative assistant in the Greene County Red Cross office and was able to put her disaster training to work.

What does Kathy do as a volunteer? She indeed serves in a variety of capacities – on the Disaster Action Team responding to home fires, helping to obtain agreements for obtaining food from businesses during disasters, working in shelters, driving the Emergency Response Vehicle (ERV) and volunteering in Disaster Spiritual Care.

Kathy has a husband, three children, four grandchildren, and one great grandchild. Kathy works with James Capital Management, the Kitchen of Hope, and in an administrative role with the Church Hill Medical Mission. Currently she is very busy with these positions and caring for her husband who has some temporary medical needs. Since she cannot volunteer as often as she would like, Kathy has recruited one of her daughters to respond to fire calls. Recruiting new volunteers is a vital role for current volunteers!

When Kathy was asked what advice she would give to new volunteers, she replied, “be open and willing to do anything. Be flexible, be a team player, and SMILE!" That is how Kathy qualified to be a “jack of all trades!”

There is always a need for additional volunteers with the local Red Cross. You can work in a variety of positions. Training is available for disaster and non-disaster positions. For more information on volunteering and training visit If you are a current volunteer, and would like additional information please contact Angela Morris by calling 423-765-4218 or emailing her at

East Tennessee Volunteer Spotlight: Tom Steury - February 2019

Tom Steury moved from Denver, Colorado to Knoxville, Tennessee to be close to family.  Tom jumped in head first as a volunteer and is our Volunteer Services Engagement Lead for the East Tennessee Chapter.  Tom is working on how to convey the Net Promoter Scores (NPS) and what it means to the volunteer and the chapter.  Tom and the engagement team will call volunteers around their anniversary time with the Red Cross and discuss NPS and its value.  Tom also works with IT in the Chapter and supports the front desk staff.  Tom enjoys spending time with his wife and three sons, collecting coins and stamps, and volunteering in the community. Thank you Tom!

What is your favorite word?

If you could try a profession that isn’t a current or past job, what would it be?

Other than East TN, where would you like to live and why?
Costa Rica, the weather is very nice with no hurricanes and the people are friendly.

What natural gift or talent do you wish you had?
Basketball skills: dribbling, shooting, rebounding

Who is your favorite musician?
The Beatles, Kenny G

What historical figure would you most like to meet and why?
Abraham Lincoln, I would like to understand the tribulations and how he came by his decisions with regard to the Civil War

What is your favorite color?

What do you love about volunteering at the Red Cross of East TN?
Opportunity to lead, meet new people, feel appreciated

Letter from East Tennessee Executive Director, Sharon Hudson - February 2019

Every day we rely on the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors to fulfill our mission. We recently received a mint condition donation of a Canteen Lady uniform and cap from the 1950s.

The American Red Cross Canteen has been providing service to the Armed Forces since its founding in 1917. The warm and friendly atmosphere of the canteen provisioned by the dedicated volunteer Canteen Ladies who staffed the facility, made it a home-away- from-home for the service men and women who frequented the commissary. The Canteen Ladies gave support and comfort to members of the armed forces and their families.

In December 2018, the daughter of a former Canteen Lady, Ms. Karen S. Johnson, donated the uniform and cap, including name tag and badges, worn by her mother Mrs. Evelyn “Sunny” Shaffer who served at the canteen in Scarsdale, NY from 1955-1959, to the East Tennessee chapter of the Red Cross in Knoxville, Tennessee.  In addition to helping active members of the armed forces at the canteen, Mrs. Shaffer also worked with retired service men and women, as well as actively recruited new volunteers for the Red Cross. We celebrate Mrs. Shaffer’s dedication and volunteer spirit.

Mrs. Shaffer’s uniform is currently on display at the Knoxville office along with two other uniforms that have been acquired from other volunteers. The staff of the East Tennessee chapter would like to thank Ms. Johnson for this very personal donation.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Letter from Southeast Tennessee Executive Director, Julia Wright - February 2019

January is the month of adjustment; some breathing deep time to get a grip on going forward in a new year. February starts putting it all into action. The first emphasis of this month is the heart. Hugs, kisses, flowers, things wrapped in red bows and boxes.

For the Southeast Tennessee chapter of the Red Cross, this is all translated into appreciation for engagement. As with all resolutions, there is no effective result without follow-through. Our volunteers reward us when the call goes out. They reward themselves in every effort they make for our Red Cross by being educated, informed and knowing their best place in the response team.

Our mission this month is to renew existing commitments and make new ones. I encourage our volunteers to learn something you don't know or brush up on the things you've already learned. The word UPDATE is used in almost every area of our lives in this time. This is one more very important place it applies to everything we do.

Find opportunities in online courses on EDGE, take a training class at the chapter, sign up for a disaster relief shift, learn more about other departments at Red Cross, or take a life-saving CPR course. Volunteer to serve where you previously have not.

Above all, recruit your friends, family members and co-workers to volunteer. Renew your engagement in this month of hearts.