APRIL 2021 – K.I.N.D. Award Winner is Fran Lawlor

The Alabama and Mississippi Region proudly announces its monthly recipient of the KIND Award: a volunteer that is K(knowledgeable) I(involved) N(notable) D(dedicated). For the month of April, our award winner is Fran Lawlor representing the Mid Alabama Chapter!   Fran serves in multiple roles in Volunteer Services-as an Instructor, a Regional Volunteer Relations Team Lead, an Engagement Lead and as a Screening Lead. She is truly an asset to the Volunteer Services team and has currently been active with the Red Cross for the past three years.  

Fran, however, is not new to the organization. She was a Junior Volunteer as a teenager and previously taught CPR courses. Fran decided to serve with the Red Cross to assist others in their time of need. She states she has had many memorable moments throughout her Red Cross tenure-conducting screening interviews, teaching classes and solving problems (her strength!) Being selected for this award she feels has been the most memorable moment of all! When Fran is not volunteering with the Red Cross, she enjoys gardening and giving tours with the Botanical Gardens. She has also competed in ballroom dance competitions and was a Girl Scout leader for many years. She also served as the Superintendent of Schools for the Catholic Diocese of Birmingham, Alabama.

Carol Battersby, Senior Engagement Specialist in Volunteer Services states “Fran is an invaluable asset to the Red Cross.  She serves in two key leadership roles.  In her VS Screening Lead role, she helps prospective Red Crossers identify what role they would like to serve in and makes sure they have all the information they need to decide the best match for their interests.  As a volunteer lead, Fran provides training, guidance and support to the other Screening team members. In her role as Regional HR Lead, Fran works with volunteers and volunteer supervisors to resolve conflict; sometimes spending countless hours until the issue is resolved.  Fran also facilitates the Get Connected new volunteer orientation making sure new volunteers are welcomed and informed in their on- boarding process. Fran’s history with the Red Cross goes far back to when she started as a Red Cross Youth volunteer.” 

She also serves on the Regional Volunteer Recognition Committee. Fran is the definition of KIND. Her Knowledge, Involvement and Dedication is Notable. The Red Cross is incredibly lucky to have her service.  I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this recognition.

On behalf of the Alabama and Mississippi Region, congratulations Fran on being selected as the April recipient of the KIND Award. We appreciate your service and dedication to the Red Cross mission!

Written by: Amy Cottrell / Volunteer Services

Geno Shirey, February KIND Winner 

The Alabama Mississippi and Region proudly announces its monthly recipient the KIND Award: a volunteer that is K(knowledgeable) I(involved) N (notable) D(dedicated). For the month of February, the award has been given to Geno Shirey representing the North Alabama Chapter.

Geno resides in Decatur and has been involved with the Red Cross for over 12 years serving in Disaster Cycle Services. His roles volunteer roles include working as a Casework Supervisor, Mass Care Supervisor an ERV Driver and Shelter Support Coordinator. He decided to begin working with the Red Cross to help his local community in times of disaster. Gino enjoys serving as a member of the Disaster Action Team and assisting clients affected by home fires. Additionally, he has deployed over 10 times for disaster relief.

Geno truly has a heart for serving others! When he is not offering his time and talents to the Red Cross, he enjoys volunteering with Baptist Disaster Relief where he assists with feeding, clean up and debris removal.

He is retired from the 3M Company where he served as a chemist. Geno is definitely NOT a typical retiree! He leads a very healthy lifestyle. He is very active within his local church and enjoys woodworking when he is not volunteering.

“Geno has always been a faithful and dedicated volunteer, but recently he has put in extra efforts and a great deal of time as Casework Supervisor and now our RC Caseworker Supervisor Reviewer!  His positive attitude and team spirit is an asset to the Red Cross.” Khris Anderson Executive Director North Alabama

“Good Volunteers are hard to come by that are long-lasting and faithful to the mission.  He has been with the Red Cross for over 16 years.  Geno has served as a DAT member for many years and DAT Captain.  He has volunteered in logistics, damage assessment, sheltering, fundraising, supported board activities and more. Geno has deployed over 15 times on Disaster Relief Operations (DROs).   Geno is affiliated with the Southern Baptist kitchen.  When he is deployed with them, he still looks out for the Red Cross and ensures both organizations mission is fulfilled. He has taken the lead and his current support is helping us in NAL with updating our shelters which is a big undertaking. Geno did not have to take this on but asked what was our greatest needed and took this project on.  I certainly appreciate all that he has done and is doing to support the Red Cross mission.” Shirley Crutcher, Disaster Program Manager, North Alabama

 On behalf of the Alabama Mississippi Region, congratulations to Geno on being selected as the February recipient of the KIND Award.

We appreciate your service to the Red Cross mission.

Written by: Amy Cottrell



Carol Stafford: August Volunteer of the Month

Carol receives her “Volunteer of the Month” certificate at Montgomery chapter office.

Carol Stafford began her Red Cross story after retiring from a 28-year career with the Alabama Department of Corrections. During her career, Carol also drove a school bus for Macon County Schools. Anyone close to Carol would describe her as being dedicated but that would be an understatement. Since 2016, Carol has touched the lives of military members and their families through her role in Service to Armed Forces (SAF), responded countless times to local disasters like home fires and has become an integral part of the Home Fire Campaign due to her certification in American Sign Language (ASL).

Carol uses her communication skills to focus on educating hearing-impaired individuals about the dangers of home fires and how they can stay safe with a bed-shaker alarm system. When asked why she chooses to volunteer, Carol stated, “I love meeting and helping people”. Bed-shaker alarms are given to hearing-impaired or elderly individuals who would otherwise not hear the typical system in case of an emergency. Often, Carol must seek these individuals and/or families out. Carol added “having Megan [intern from Alabama State University] with me has been a big help.”

If Carol isn’t working on a Red Cross mission, you can find her in the company of her daughter, Mishika  and grandson, Terrell (13). Carol is 54 years old and resides in Shorter, Alabama. Thank you for all that you do, Carol!