January Staff Spotlight: Laura Johnston

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Where are you originally from?

I was raised in Cave Spring, Georgia which is a small town right outside of Rome.

How long have you been living in Athens?

Since August 2014, so I am fairly new to the city.

Where did you go to college?

I received my Master of Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University. I also have a Bachelor of Political Science from the University of West Georgia.

What is your position at the Red Cross & what do you do?

I am the new Volunteer Specialist. The main part of my job is to be a supervisor and liaison for the volunteers. I hope to focus on volunteer recruitment, retention, and recognition. It is important for me to make everyone feel like they are a part of the team.

What inspired you to work with Red Cross?

I have always had a passion for volunteerism and non-profit work. I am truly inspired by the Red Cross mission and it is something that I knew I needed to be a part of. It is the principles that Red Cross stands for that made me want to work here as opposed to any other non-profit.

What impact do you think Red Cross has on the community?

While Red Cross provides so many services, the thing that has always struck me the most is the invaluable impact of our disaster responders. It’s not just about providing a person a hot meal or shelter, it’s about giving people comfort. It’s the concept that Red Cross helps people feel as though they are not alone.

What advice do you have for anyone considering volunteering with the Red Cross?

If you’re interested in volunteering you already have the compassion necessary to do the job. Our volunteers are just like staff. They are essential to our operation. This means no matter how great or small the task; at Red Cross you will be making a difference. It is important to always keep sight of that fact.

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