United Way July Volunteer of the Month

Published 9:19 am Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Meet Cathy Porter

Name: Cathy Porter

Age: 56

Residency: retired and living with my husband in rural Albert Lea.

Cathy Porter

Cathy Porter

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Agency volunteering with: Red Cross

How long have you been involved with Red Cross/how did you get started volunteering?

When Hurricane Katrina hit Mississippi, my husband rode with Red Cross emergency response vehicles combing country roads, delivering meals and locating pockets of people in need. With all communications infrastructure destroyed, ham radio operators like him were a necessity. He has been a Red Cross volunteer ever since, and after several years of helping him I decided to become an official volunteer myself. I’ve been on our local chapter board for three years, with much of my time dedicated to our Dancing With the Freeborn-Mower Stars fundraiser. If you want to dance next year, call me!

*Kathy was just recognized as Board Member of the Year by Red Cross.

What is the agency’s impact in our community?

I think of the Red Cross as a bridge. We’re on the scene as soon as possible when disaster strikes to provide food and shelter, then connect people with our partner agencies that can offer further assistance. For instance, if your house burns down, we’ll be there to take care of you until your insurance company shows up. Few people realize that our most frequent responses are to house fires.

How can others volunteer?

Volunteering with the Red Cross gives me the opportunity to work with like-minded people who recognize the need to come together and help each other in times of emergency. On a personal level, I’m always learning and get to use a wide variety of skills without committing to a regular schedule. I would encourage anyone wanting to do volunteer work at any level to consider the Red Cross.