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  • Writer's pictureNEIA Red Cross

"Impact on different fronts" - A Reason to Serve as a Red Cross Board Member

Updated: Sep 23, 2022

Jerad Knott is a busy man with a family and a career, but he understands the value of community and the importance of being involved in the community. With the encouragement of Lutz, his employer, Jerad serves his area as a board member of the Central and Western Nebraska Chapter of the American Red Cross. He was good enough to shed some light on his experience as a Red Cross board member.

What interested you in becoming a Red Cross Central and Western Nebraska Chapter board member?

I actually started out with the clubRED young professionals' group when I was still living in Omaha as a way to network and get to know others in the community. Once I became part of that group I stayed with the organization because of the impact the Red Cross has on many different fronts, most of which I wasn’t aware of before I joined. When I moved back to central Nebraska it was a natural transition to join the board representing this part of the state and it gave me an opportunity to get to know others in the community as well.

How long have you served on the board?

I started with clubRed in late 2014 and then started with the Central and Western Nebraska chapter in 2018/2019.

What company or organization do you represent on the board and what does that representation mean to you?

I represent Lutz. As a company, we like our employees to be involved in some way in their community. That can look different depending on your interests but for me, the Red Cross gives me an opportunity to do that. It has also allowed me to introduce some of my co-workers to the Red Cross through joint volunteer events like Sound the Alarm as well as by encouraging them to attend our annual Chili Cook-Off. How do you spend your free time?

My wife and I have four children, two girls, and two boys. They are in 7th, 5th, 4th, and 2nd grade. Their sports and extracurricular activities keep my calendar pretty full at this point but if I do have some free time I like to do most anything I can outdoors and preferably with one of them so they get exposed to something non-technology related and that doesn’t require a screen! What is a Red Cross moment that has stuck with you? Or, what does being a Red Cross board member mean to you?

When I was part of our clubRed chapter in Omaha Kayla Scott was our board liaison between the Red Cross and our group. Kayla got the opportunity to deploy to a disaster and shared the story of what it was like to be part of a pop-up shelter and what she experienced. I haven’t had the opportunity and don’t have as exciting of a story as Kayla did to tell but hearing the impact she and others have in those situations is part of what makes being part of the organization feel impactful. Fundraising or volunteering time locally may be all you have time for now but it allows for others to deploy and make an impact in a meaningful way so just because you aren’t on the front line with them you can still help support them and feel connected to the good the organization does. How would you encourage friends and family to get involved with the American Red Cross?

The best thing I’ve been able to do is to get a group of co-workers together and volunteer some time. It doesn’t take a lot and you can have an impact by giving up a few hours on your weekend. Outside of that, I would just say there are plenty of opportunities to get involved and they don’t all involve you deploying to a disaster scene and will still allow you to have an impact. It could be as simple as signing up to donate blood, helping organize a drive, or helping canvas a neighborhood for a sound the alarm event.

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