Cathy Grimsley is a busy mom and mental health nurse who also serves as a dedicated board member for the Northwest Iowa-Northeast Nebraska Chapter of the American Red Cross. Years ago, she saw the impact the Red Cross continues to have on her community and the world; and she wanted to be part of that impact. Learn more about Cathy's Red Cross experience.
What interested you in becoming a Red Cross Northwest Iowa-Northeast Nebraska Chapter board member? And how long have you served on the board?
I have been a board member for almost six years. I am a nurse, so my career interests align very closely with the mission and work of the Red Cross. I believe that I have connections in the community to help on a local level and also feel comfortable guiding others and speaking in public, which has enabled me to assist in board training efforts as well as promoting events locally.
What company or organization do you represent on the board and what does that representation mean to you?
I work for Family Health Care of Siouxland as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. I am new to this organization, but the majority of my years on the board, I was a nursing professor. While teaching, I was able to connect students with volunteering efforts at the Red Cross and also discuss the importance of the Red Cross in our communities, both locally and afar. I love being able to understand the needs of the Red Cross and use my connections to help bring in time, talent or money.
How do you spend your free time?
I am a mom of two busy daughters, so it seems that we are always on the go with their activities. But, I love to travel, spend a lot of time socializing with friends, enjoy playing volleyball and softball and relaxing by watching home-improvement shows.
What is a Red Cross moment that has stuck with you? Or, what does being a Red Cross board member mean to you?
One of the most memorable Red Cross moments was during a Heroes award banquet where I learned the impact of a number of people that had done life-saving acts and made significant contributions to the community. Unknown to me, I had a personal connection with two of the award recipients through my work as a nurse. It is always heart-warming to see a person be recognized for acting quickly to save the life of a complete stranger, but it is also wonderful to highlight the work of people that are making the world better through their gift of time or special talents. The award recipients were always so deserving and hearing the testimonials from the nominators was emotional.
How would you encourage friends and family to get involved with the American Red Cross? There are so many ways to give back to our community (locally, nationally, or internationally) through the Red Cross. What I would love my friends and family to know is that the work of the American Red Cross would not be possible if not for the volunteers and the organization is so grateful and appreciative for the volunteers. As a nurse that is specialized in mental health, I understand the importance of the Red Cross in times of disaster and helping people navigate through difficult times, so I do discuss with colleagues to consider sharing their expertise with those in need. I also have been involved with blood drives, so I strongly encourage those that can donate blood to do so. The Red Cross communicates with blood donors on where their donation goes, which is amazing to understand the impact of their donation. It doesn't cost money to donate blood, but only a small amount of time that can be the difference between life and death for the recipient. I have been involved with blood drives and will continue to do so after my commitment to the board is complete.
Is there anything else you would like to add about your service to the Red Cross?
My experience serving the Red Cross has been life-changing. Not only have I networked to improve collaborative efforts with our local chapter, but have been given the opportunity to connect our youth with the mission and efforts of the Red Cross.
Learn how your time and talents can serve your community through the Red Cross by visiting redcross.org.