Red Cross report to Centre City Council

Joy Ballenger shares how Red Cross has served and continues to serve this area during a recent meeting of the Centre City Council.

Terry Dean

The Centre City Council, during its Tuesday, May 13 meeting, voting to enter into an annual $1,000 contract with Cherokee County Chapter of the American Red Cross.

Joy Ballenger, director for both the Cherokee and Etowah County office of the the American Red Cross, made the request on behalf of Red Cross.

“Mainly I just want to ask for your consideration of support,” said Ballenger. “I know in the past the Cty of Centre has supported your local Red Cross and we would like to ask for your support again.”

“I talked with Fire Chief Kevin Ware about possibly some of the fire fund being used for Red Cross,” said Ballenger. “We work with all the fire departments in the county. We actively have about 25 cases a year. That is an average.”

“Luckily in Cherokee County, in my two years with Red Cross, we have not had any major damage,” said Ballenber. “We’ve been very active these last two weeks in Sardis (following recent storms). The Sardis Community borders Dekalb County.”

“We would be the same here if we had to respond to some damage,” said Ballenger. “We were lucky to get away with no fatalities or injuries in Sardis.”

“But we just wanted to ask for your support,” said Ballenger. “I think Kevin can speak to what we do working so closely with our disaster action team leader Jeremy Goodwin who is on one of the volunteer fire departments.”

“The Cherokee county Commission does support us, and the other municipalities in Cherokee county do,” said Ballenger. “So we just would like to ask for your consideration.”

“We want to support you,” said Ballenger. “We are in the community. We will be in here on Saturday with the American legion event going on. We are here for the Harvest Festival, parades at Christmas. I hope you feel like you have a good presence of your Red Cross in this community. If there is anything you know of you would like to see us do that maybe we are not doing, please let me know. We can only be as effective as you will let us be.”

Ballenger said they participate in community preparation events on a regular basis and credited Kurt Duryea who does CPR and lifeguarding classes.

And these funds remain in the county, she stressed.

“We could not raise the amount of money that would be given back in the wake of disaster,” said Ballenger. “We have given out bulk items, client assistance and that is the immediate need. We have almost 10 shelter agreements in Cherokee county.”

“We also provide mental health services support, health services support,” said Ballanger.

“We have partnerships with the Southern Baptist Association who come in with their teams that cut and remove debris,” said Ballenger.

“We have always said we would not be able to raise enough money Red Cross would bring back into the community,” said Ballenger.

The commission approved the $1,000 annual contract with Red Cross.