By LARRY C. BOWERS
Kelly Browand, a community volunteer with the American Red Cross, joined members of Cleveland Kiwanis Club at a recent luncheon at the Elks Lodge.
Browand discussed the mission of the global organization, especially its activities and commitments in Southeast Tennessee.
“Most of my job (with the Red Cross), is speaking to civic groups and other community organizations,” she said. “I see the same folks going about, and giving, in Cleveland. Folks like you.”
Browand is originally from Ohio, and a graduate of Florida Atlantic University. In 2010, she joined Edward Jones as a financial advisor.
She said her first involvement with the American Red Cross was through her brother, who was a peacekeeper with the military in Kosovo. She discovered that one of his comrades, who had an emergency back in the United States, was able to make the trip home through the Red Cross. She did not know, at that time, that the Red Cross assisted military personnel.
Browand then presented a video describing the mission of the Red Cross – in local communities, across the nation, and around the world.
She emphasized that the American Red Cross is not a governmental agency, but is mobilized by the power of volunteers, and the generosity of donors.
Browand said the fundamental principals of the organization are volunteer service, unity, humanity, independence, neutrality, impartiality and university.
“The services we provide include disaster relief, biomedical, preparedness for health and safety services, international relief, and services to members of the nation’s armed services (active and veterans).”
“Every nine minutes, the Red Cross reacts to a disaster,” Browand said, adding that the Red Cross serves as a second responder in disaster situations. “We connect with agencies that have the resources (to serve as first responders).
Red Cross responses include emergency response vehicles, overnight shelters, relief items, provision of health and mental health contacts, meals and snacks, and volunteer workers.
Browand said an example of local interaction was following the 2015 Chattanooga shooting in which five members of the military were shot and killed.
“One of the victims was the father of a Boy Scout,” she said, describing how the scouting community, and 89 Boy Scouts, turned out in 98-degree heat to line Chattanooga roadways to pay their respects.
Browand pointed out that the Red Cross’ blood services department is a steward in that area. She said her father had a transplant from that supply. She also acknowledged the blood service is specialized today, and donations are down.
Browand said one of the Red Cross’ biggest community programs is CPR training.
In closing, Browand said the American Red Cross is made up of 275 chapters, with 300,000 volunteers, and affects more than 220 million people globally.
Among the services provided by the Southeast Tennessee chapter (based in Chattanooga) is first aid and relief for disasters, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, floods and wildfires.
She emphasized to the Kiwanis members that the organization is always in need of volunteers.
Other Kiwanis news:
• The club’s fourth annual Jute Miller Memorial Rook Tournament was held last weekend at the Elks Lodge, and was the most successful to date.
Proceeds from the fundraiser are used for a number of Kiwanis projects.
• Club members are currently involved with the annual 4-H Club Public Speaking competition. Kiwanians serve as judges each year.
• Two new members, Eva VanHook and Justin Thomas, were inducted last week by Kiwanis President Ramon Torres and Kay Smith.