Thursday, May 11, 2017

East Tennessee Volunteer Spotlight, Sandra Mulsand - May 2017

The East Tennessee Chapter is fortunate to have the best volunteers around.  After all, the area serve is considered “Volunteer Country.” Sandra Mulsand is no exception. Sandra has been an active volunteer for the Red Cross for 10 years alongside her husband Lou. She dedicates her time in the area of disaster while fulfilling the position of Disaster Responder with a concentration in logistics, mass care and technology. In addition, she is a certified emergency response vehicle (ERV) driver when the need arises.  If that isn’t enough, she spends countless hours in Casework and Recovery where she makes the biggest difference for those she comes in contact with.

Last November, the East Tennessee area was hit with a Level 4 disaster when the wildfires spread so quickly in the Gatlinburg area.  The wildfires damaged or destroyed 1,684 structures, caused 14,000 residents to evacuate, injured over 130 people and claimed 14 lives.

Sandra Mulsand, left and Kathy Donaldson, right
From that disaster, our Casework and Recovery volunteers, including Sandra, assisted those affected and opened about 450 cases for the victims.  Once the disaster response was “closed”, Sandra took over the remaining effort. Since that time, she has spent over 1,000 hours connecting with clients, closing cases and following up with additional needs that have come to light. If working more than 60 hours a week on the case work wasn’t enough, Sandra has formed a small team of 4 follow-up caseworkers, trained a new volunteer, overseen the workings of the others and just recruited yet another new volunteer.

Red Cross volunteers always put the client first. For example, outside of all of the hours doing the work directly for the Red Cross, Sandra has collaborated with numerous organizations for a particular client from the wildfires to help with the filing of permits, paperwork and all that is required to start the rebuilding of her home (see pic).

There are two things that we are sure of. First, Sandra Mulsand eats, breathes and lives the American Red Cross. Second, the Tennessee Region, especially the East Tennessee Chapter, is easily better for having her as a volunteer.

Thank you Sandra for all you do to make a difference in the community.

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