I can’t even begin to express how excited I am to be here today, introducing myself to you. My name is Erin Ferris, and I am a life-long Red Crosser.
I took my very first American Red Cross Health & Safety course – Babysitter’s Training – when I was 11 years old. In the years that followed I received numerous additional certifications and recertifications from the Red Cross: CPR for adults, children, and infants; AED for adults and children; Basic First Aid; Blood borne Pathogens; Lifeguarding; Water Safety; and Water Safety Instructor. Eventually I also took the Fundamentals of Instructor Training course and became a certified American Red Cross Health & Safety Instructor.
I started working for the American Red Cross soon after I graduated from the University of Iowa. I spent two years with the Grant Wood Area Chapter (Cedar Rapids, IA) as the Financial Development Associate and six years with the Washtenaw County Chapter (Ann Arbor, MI) as the Blood Services Volunteer Coordinator and then as the Director of Volunteer and Youth Resources.
I’ve been affiliated with the Red Cross for 21 years, and consider myself a Red Cross girl, through and through. Even my kids have been indoctrinated.
Late last year I relocated, because of my husband’s job, to College Station, Texas. Texas is ridiculously far from our families and friends, and that, coupled with the fact that I had to leave my job at the Red Cross when we moved, made for a difficult adjustment.
In an attempt to “find myself” here, I started writing – more specifically, blogging. A few weeks back I wrote a post on my personal blog about my Red Cross background and how it colored an experience I had here in Texas (I’ll tell you about it next week). A couple of Red Cross social media top dogs found my post, and contacted me about contributing regularly to the National American Red Cross blog. I was, and am, honored.
I love the American Red Cross. Our mission – to provide relief to victims of disaster and help people prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies – knows no boundaries. The Red Cross will be there, for anyone, anywhere, at any time. The Red Cross, through the unending support of thousands of generous volunteers, first picks up, and then lifts up, people who are experiencing some of the darkest moments of their lives. The Red Cross brings communities together, all in the name of making safer and healthier the places where we as community members live and work and play.
I will be here, talking with you (I say “with you” because I hope you will make comments, ask questions, and share stories in the comments section) about the Red Cross, every week. Well, every week barring any disasters, of course. And by disaster I don’t mean a flood or a fire. I mean a Ferris family disaster, like I get the flu while my husband’s out of town and I still have to take two kids to school and activities and keep the younger one from cracking her brother’s scull open with a wooden ukelele and the older one from slamming his sister’s fingers in her toy box. Luckily I know first aid.
I’m thrilled to be here, and I can’t wait for what’s to come.