The American Red Cross Central Appalachia Region serves 77 counties in Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia. Last year locally, the Red Cross responded to over 1,100 home fires; assisted nearly 2,100 military members, veterans and their families; helped make more than 1,000 homes safer by installing over 1,300 free smoke alarms; and collected 53,000 units of lifesaving blood at about 2,000 blood drives.
Tenikka Phillips, Marshall alumna serves as a Disaster Mental Health (DMH) and Service to the Armed Forces (SAF) volunteer for the American Red Cross Tenikka became a donor at 18 but was surprised by the variety of volunteer positions available.
She said she knew the Red Cross responded to home fires but always thought she was not qualified to do that. When she saw she could use her skills and education to give back, she wanted to take care of her community.
She first got involved with the American Red Cross during the historic West Virginia floods of 2016. Marshall put out a call for Mental Health Professionals to volunteer during this time. “I thought this was a great way to use my skills and give back.”
“Currently, I volunteer as a Disaster Mental Health volunteer and counsel those who have experienced a disaster and help them process the emotional trauma of their loss. I also facilitate workshops for the Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces. These workshops serve our active military, veterans and their families to better equip them with communication and coping strategies. I am so thankful that my degree from Marshall has allowed me to serve my community through the American Red Cross.”
From responding to disasters to serving our military heroes to delivering life-saving blood, resolve to give back in 2022!