Volunteering for Disaster: Interview with American Red Cross volunteer M. Ann Smith

by Brooke Leigh Sheldon

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Listen to this amazing interview with an unexpected hero.

Chadron State College in Chadron, Nebraska gave special recognition to M. Ann Smith on October 26, 2008.  They printed the following biography of this remarkable woman:

Ann Smith is being recognized for both her work as a Chadron State College professor and her extensive volunteer work with the American Red Cross.

Smith was 29 years old with three children when she enrolled at Nebraska Western College in Scottsbluff. After two years there, she transferred to CSC and completed a bachelor of science degree in education in just one year and a summer.

For 10 years prior to joining the CSC faculty, Smith was a teacher at Bridgeport, where she coached the school’s first volleyball and girls’ track teams. In her first four years of coaching, her track teams won a Class B state championship and a runner-up trophy. The duties gave her first-hand experience in gender equity. She later served on national committees pertaining to Title IX, the legislation designed to give equal athletic opportunities to females.

She earned a master’s degree from CSC in 1977 and earned a position on the faculty 1980. In her new position, she coached the cross-country team until the school discontinued the sport five years later. She also coached the women’s track team for nine years. She was named chairwoman of CSC’s Health, Physical Education and Recreation Department in 1987.

In 1985, she was CSC’s first recipient of the Burlington Northern Foundation Faculty Achievement Award. She also was active in the Nebraska Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance and earned its Honor Award in 1987.

Her involvement with the Dawes County chapter of the Red Cross has been extensive, ranging from training lifeguards to responding to some of the nation’s most prominent disasters. As a member of the National Disaster Human Resource Team, Smith has been deployed to 16 national disasters in 15 states. She spent Christmas vacation of 2001 in New York City to provide relief of the Sept. 11 attacks. She also spent five weeks assisting victims of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Ann has three children and numerous grandchildren. Her husband, Bud, died in December 2007.

Red Cross Links:

Donate:

The Red Cross always needs donations of money, time and blood.  Below find resources to help you contribute in whatever way you choose.  There are also links to help you prepare for the unforeseen in your life.

Click this link to find out how you can donate to help the Red Cross.

Find your local Red Cross

Click this link to find your local Red Cross location by entering your zip code.

Preparing and Getting Trained:

Click here to visit the Red Cross website and learn more about how to prepare for a disaster in your area.  Get training in disaster preparation in your local area.

DOWNLOAD 22 different fact sheets in English or Spanish to help you prepare for Fires and Floods or Tsunamis and Volcanos. You name it you’ll find it here!  You’ll need Adobe reader installed on your computer to be able to download these fact sheets. You can click here to get Adobe reader.

Volunteer!

Click here to view the Video: Introduction to Disaster Services.

Click here for the main Red Cross Volunteer page. Be sure to look on this page for links to the Online Orientation, Volunteer Match and Find Your Local Red Cross.

Donate Blood. To find out if you are eligible or to find a blood donation location, click this Red Cross Blood Donor link.

Getting Help:

Click here to get assistance with contacting family members who have been involved in a disaster, with finding shelter and supplies, with assistance for military families or to initiate an international trace.

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