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Berkshire County Chapter Open House

Berkshire Chapter is hosting an OPEN HOUSE for prospective volunteers on Friday, February 15, 2013 from 3 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

The American Red Cross, Berkshire Chapter is hosting an OPEN HOUSE for prospective volunteers on Friday, February 15, 2013 from 3 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Anyone interested in learning about disaster services or other volunteer opportunities is urged to attend this informative Open House which will include demonstrations and the opportunity to meet staff and other volunteers.

Disaster volunteers enjoy a team atmosphere and work as a group to respond to local disasters such as house fires. Other opportunities to become involved are by working in the Chapter office or helping at community events and providing information about disaster preparedness.

Training is free and those interested can become certified to respond to local and/or large-scale national disasters.

BASIC TRAINING for disaster response will be offered that very weekend to get you started and ready to respond.


Sunday, February 17 – 9 a.m. -3:30 p.m. SHELTER OPERATIONS / SIMULATION

“How the American Red Cross provides mass care during a disaster”

During the last 4 months, we have deployed more than 60 volunteers from Western MA to help with Super Storm Sandy. Several of those folks were from right here in the Berkshires. The time to get trained to help is BEFORE the next BIG disaster. Families in your very own community need help every week as they struggle to recover after a house fire.

People from all walks of life are encouraged to stop by to learn more about how they can get involved. Disaster team members include retirees, husband and wife teams, college students, and bilingual individuals. Current volunteers will be on hand during the Open House to talk about their experiences and welcome prospective volunteers.

“What we look for in a good volunteer is a sense of compassion and a willingness to learn. We have some volunteers that respond to nearly all of the disaster calls we get, and others who we rely on if we need to open a shelter for a large local disaster. You can set your own level of involvement,” states Brenda Brouillette, Regional Emergency Service Director.

“Training of disaster volunteers is a big part of our preparedness mission—when Super Storm Sandy hit the Northeast Coast we sent out trained local volunteers to assist in this enormous relief effort,” Brouillette added. “When something of the magnitude of Sandy happens, we all want to help. But, training is so important, and local volunteer work helps to provide you with the important skills needed to serve our own communities—and also helps prepare those folks who may also have an interest in regional or national disaster relief assignments as well.”

For more information on becoming a disaster volunteer for the American Red Cross, please email Mary Nathan, Regional Response Manager at

The American Red Cross is not a recipient of government funding and relies upon voluntary community support for its services and programs.

For More Information regarding this press release or questions, please contact:

Mary Nathan, Regional Response Manager, 413-265-8530 Cell