ADA — A new branch manager and assimilation into the Norman chapter of the American Red Cross has merited a community open house Monday, Dec. 11, at the Pontotoc County Branch office, 704 N. Oak, Suite 16. The open house will be a come-and-go event from 5:15-6:30 p.m. that will allow the community a chance to ask questions and meet Branch Manager Brandy Albritton. “You can enjoy refreshments as you visit with the Norman staff, volunteers and new staff members,” she said.

Albritton began serving as Pontotoc County’s branch manager in September 2006. “We really need for people to know we are still here and offer the same services, such as disaster assistance and health and safety services,” she said. “We have served approximately eight families since I have been here.”

Not only does the Red Cross assist victims of disasters, it also contributes to the emergency personnel who respond to these disasters. Recently the Red Cross provided pizza and beverages to the Ada Police Department during a day-long investigation. “We are here to help in any way we can,” Albritton said.

The Pontotoc County American Red Cross will launch its major fundraiser in March 2007, called the Heroes Campaign. This and other objectives will be discussed at the open house. “We are looking for committee members for the campaign. We need people who are interested in fundraising.”

Pontotoc County’s Red Cross is also looking for disaster team members and volunteers to man the local office. The open house will provide information about volunteers’ duties and how to become involved.

“It is such an emotionally draining experience to lose your home to a fire or to experience any type of disaster for that matter. Our volunteers allow us to assist people in the physical aspects of life, such as food, shelter and clothing, so the victims can focus on putting themselves back together emotionally,” Albritton said.

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