New Red Cross staffer gives back

Red Cross client becomes Red Cross staff
I’ll always remember the face of the Red Cross person who handed me some water

Meet Paula Jon Killilea, the new Program Coordinator for the Cape Cod & Islands. She joined full-time in September of 2012.

Though she just recently started working for the organization, Killilea has a past with the American Red Cross. She and her family personally experienced the organization’s assistance and compassion during an ice storm in December 2008.

“I’ll always remember the face of the Red Cross person who handed me some water,” she said.

Now as Program Coordinator, Killilea is the primary contact for the chapter house and has at least a dozen people a day walk through the doors looking for help or information, and just as many who call on the phone.

“We have an excellent resource list,” she adds, noting that she encourages donations. “With the economy being what it is, people don’t always have cash to donate. Giving blood is an enormous contribution and another way for people to feel good about helping out.”

Fundraising is a big part of her job, and she is enthusiastic and creative in her approach to it. Recently at Mashpee Commons, Killilea coordinated a Cut-a-Thon in conjunction with a local salon, Illusions, and she’s helping put together the Sandy Jam Concert featuring six local bands at the Brewster VFW at noon on Sunday, November 18. Click here for tickets - $5.00 at the door, and all proceeds will go to those affected by Hurricane Sandy.

Killilea’s personal struggle in dealing with the 2008 ice storm has given her a positive outlook. Now she’s doing her part to help others.

“After living though the loss of our home and all that goes along with that, I felt like I had a decision to make,” she said. “Either I could be bitter and have this disaster define my life, or I could get out there and help other people.”