Volunteer Q & A: Kat Smith (Grand Forks)

Kat Smith, Minn-Kota

Kat Smith, the Disaster Action Team Coordinator for the northeast district of the Minn-Kota Region, has been with the organization for over a year and a half. Tom Tezel, Region/Northeast District Emergency Services said about Kat, “Ever since Kat joined our team, she has jumped in and been a great leader. She is involved in every aspect of what we do in the Northeast and across the Region, from responses to parades, not just participating but leading the way. Without her leadership and drive, our services would not be as strong in coordination and the high level consistency needed when serving the community.”

Why did you decide to give your time to volunteer?

I wanted to give back and help people, and my husband was already volunteering for the Red Cross. I thought it would be a great fit for me and it is.

What have you done in your short time with the Red Cross?

After just initially volunteering and going on disaster calls like fires, I moved into where I am currently, as the DAT coordinator. I am also the logistics lead for the region.

How has volunteering impacted your life?

Volunteering has impacted me personally in the sense I really enjoy helping people and the Red Cross has given me the opportunity to help others and in various types of situations. My experience on DAT has given me the opportunity to progress as a volunteer and has allowed me the ability to see the different sides of people that I might not have seen, especially the appreciative nature that most people around here have.

Why do you think its important for others to volunteer?

For me, my best experiences are those where I am able to help different people through tough times. Volunteering is important because all it takes is the want to help people and the compassion and caring for people that comes with the helping.