Three Red Cross county chapters combine at new location

The Red Cross is settling into its new offices on Belmont Avenue. Chris Davidson tells us about the organization that now covers three counties.

It’s week two at the new Red Cross offices on Belmont Avenue. Volunteers and staff are unpacking boxes, filing, cataloguing and hanging art work at the new Liberty Center location. Here is director Karen Conklin.

Karen Conklin directs relief efforts for Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties as part of the new Red Cross of the Mahoning Valley. Chris Davidson/TheNewsOutlet.org

Karen Conklin directs relief efforts for Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties as part of the new Red Cross of the Mahoning Valley.

CONKLIN: I think our strength here is to be able to say to a client, “Where you located? Across from Wal-Mart on Belmont Avenue on the bus line.”

Columbiana County joined with Mahoning and Trumbull earlier this month to form the Red Cross of the Mahoning Valley.

CONKLIN: If a fire department calls us and says, “We need your help.” By our national standards, we have to be there within two hours, and that means volunteers and or staff with whatever they need.

Several hundred volunteers – with a very active force of 50 to 60 – plus four staff work out of the new location. Jay Rosenthal has served as a staff member and volunteer for more than 50 years. He deployed after a Category 5 Hurricane in 1989.

Volunteer Jay Rosenthal helps to unpack at the new Red Cross offices on Belmont Avenue. He started helping with disaster relief after Hurricane Hugo hit in 1989. Chris Davidson/TheNewsOutlet.org

Volunteer Jay Rosenthal helps to unpack at the new Red Cross offices on Belmont Avenue. He started helping with disaster relief after Hurricane Hugo hit in 1989.

ROSENTHAL: I went to Hugo and just being able to help those people who had nothing, lost everything.

Tab Alden started as a CB operator with the Red Cross 40 years ago and now is the volunteer coordinator:

Tab Alden, volunteer coordinator for the Red Cross of the Mahoning Valley, helps unpack at the new location in the Liberty Center on Belmont Avenue. Chris Davidson/TheNewsOutlet.org

Tab Alden, volunteer coordinator for the Red Cross of the Mahoning Valley, helps unpack at the new location in the Liberty Center on Belmont Avenue.

ALDEN: The personal satisfaction of helping people and meeting a variety of people in their different walks of life and helping them wherever I can.

Among other duties, the Red Cross volunteers and staff help with disaster planning, disaster relief and assist veterans returning from overseas.

For TheNewsOutlet.org, I’m Chris Davidson.

Photos by Chris Davidson/TheNewsOutlet.org

TheNewsOutlet.org is a collaborative effort among the Youngstown State University journalism program, The University of Akron, Cuyahoga Community College and professional media outlets including, WYSU-FM Radio and The Vindicator (Youngstown), The Beacon Journal and Rubber City Radio (Akron).

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