Red Cross holds volunteer session in Shiretown

7 years ago

HOULTON, Maine — Anyone who has ever considered volunteering time with the American Red Cross is in luck as the charitable group is actively seeking individuals to help in The County.

Mary Green, community manager for the Aroostook County Branch of the American Red Cross in Caribou, hosted the first “Lunch and Learn” session in Houlton June 1 at St. Anthony’s Hall in St. Mary’s Church in Houlton. A small group of about 20 individuals turned out for the event.

“This was our first ever ‘Lunch and Learn’ and hopefully from the success of this event, it will grow,” Green said. “We will have more of these events in other areas to better advertise what we need from people who volunteer.”

There are about 1,200 volunteers in the state, according to Green. Those who do volunteer with the Red Cross can perform a number of tasks for the group, ranging from helping communities prepare for emergencies, providing training in lifesaving skills, assisting people affected by disasters, connecting families or simply lending a helping hand to members of the community during a time of need.

Joining Green were Danielle Hardre, disaster program manager for Maine, who spoke about the Red Cross’ fire safety program, and Kristen Simas, community volunteer leader, who touched on what it is like to volunteer for the organization.

Under the fire safety program, volunteers can assist the Red Cross by helping to install free smoke detectors in a person’s home, Hardre said. Over the past five years, the Red Cross has responded to 300 fires in the state, and six fatal fires in the past two weeks.

“We have some volunteers who are very active, and others who do not have a great deal of time, but they still want to help,” Green said. “We are always looking for more people to help. Whatever your interest is, we can find a job for you to volunteer at.”

To learn more about volunteering, visit