Linda Brew, a dedicated Red Cross volunteer, has served the Dickinson area for over 20 years as a course instructor and Disaster Action Team volunteer. The mother of four and her husband Lynn have five grandchildren. She is the Administrative Officer for Stark County Social Services.
How long have you been involved with the Red Cross and in what capacity?
After moving to Dickinson in 1990, I wanted to continue to give back since I had been involved prior to moving, so I began with the Red Cross as an instructor teaching CPR and first-aid courses, and then later teaching babysitting and instructor training. Now I teach all of the disaster courses. I also served on the Board for many years, including a stint as the board chair. Now I am the Southwest Disaster Action Team Area Supervisor.
Why do you give your time to the Red Cross?
I have always had a love for the medical field, and without a degree, this was a way for me to stay involved in lifesaving techniques. It turned into a love of teaching and working with people that truly care about others. I enjoy helping people. Volunteering got in my blood and I’ve stayed connected. I’m known as ‘the Red Cross lady’ by many people in Dickinson.
What are some of the things you’ve been involved in with the Red Cross?
I got the chance to train 28 people from our area to help out with Hurricane Katrina. I would have loved to go too, as I am originally from Mississippi, but due to an injury I couldn’t. Also, I was involved in setting up the shelter and assisting victims of the 2009 Dickinson area tornado. The Red Cross had a huge impact on our community during that disaster.
What is your greatest memory with the Red Cross?
Going out in the Emergency Response Vehicle (ERV) after the tornado in Dickinson in 2009, seeing the damage and helping those affected. I still see some of those we helped and they come thank me.
Why should others volunteer with the Red Cross?
It is important because there is always a need for volunteers and it’s so fulfilling to help others. Once people get involved and see what they can do to help others they’ll get hooked.