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K.I.N.D. Award

Written by: Amy Cottrell / American Red Cross

The ALMS Region is proud to announce its first ever recipient of the KIND Award: a volunteer that is

K (knowledgeable) I(involved) N (notable) D (dedicated). This month, the award goes to the husband and wife team of Jerry and Linda Goforth, representing the Southeast Mississippi Chapter.

Jerry and Linda have been very active with the Red Cross since 2016 serving in various capacities such as Logistics, Training, Fleet, Blood Donor Ambassadors, Feeding Team and Governmental Operations.

The Goforth’s witnessed the needs of so many individuals after Hurricane Katrina and felt strongly about assisting others upon their retirement from law enforcement. They researched several agencies and felt that the Red Cross best matched their own goals for service and giving back. They have been very active volunteers for nearly five years.

Jerry and Linda’s commitment and service to the Red Cross is evident, even when not actively volunteering. They recall an instance a couple of years ago as they were passing through the Mexico Beach, FL area while traveling. The area had suffered great loss months prior due to Hurricane Michael. While speaking with some of the residents, a local woman shared her own Red Cross story. She in turn gave Jerry and Linda a blanket that she been given by a deployed Red Cross volunteer. This woman wanted to pass on the generosity that had been given to her onto someone else. The Goforth’s were very humbled by her kindness.

Jerry and Linda are additionally active in various other past times. They are involved in their local human society and neighborhood association, and support of local area law enforcement. Linda is also a Master Gardner. The Goforth’s reside on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

John McFarland, Executive Director of the Southeast Mississippi Chapter states Since retiring from law enforcement careers and moving to Mississippi a few years ago, Linda and Jerry have become extremely valuable volunteers. Jerry oversees our vehicle fleet, both here at the Gulfport headquarters and at our outer offices. He ensures all maintenance is done on time and that the vehicles have sufficient COVID protective disinfectants, etc. He also tests and services our chapter’s generator. Linda and Jerry perform regular inventories of supplies and have coordinated our Active Shooter training. They both conduct some disaster training classes and were the lead on recruiting and training new disaster volunteers from the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. They are two of our “go to” volunteers for operations and logistics.

Angie Grajeda, Disaster Workforce Engagement Manager states Jerry and Linda support every line of service. They support our Operations team with facilities and vehicles throughout Mississippi. They support Blood Drives on a regular basis, often being the volunteers that are called on to fill-in when others do not fulfill their shifts. They support Disaster Cycle Services with inventory, building shelter kits, special projects, shelter surveys, relationship management. Through their regular routines of moving supplies and vehicles from office to office, they often also support Service to Armed Forces with ensuring supplies and inventory are accessible where needed. They have worked very hard to become knowledgeable of all the different policies and procedures that affect the work they are doing. As stated earlier, they are Involved with every activity whenever needed. Their efforts to provide quality service are notable as they have remained dedicated to the mission and involving other volunteers even during the COVID-19 environment. They have dedicated themselves to providing quality support to ensure the mission of Red Cross can be delivered through all lines of service.

Congratulations, Jerry and Linda! We appreciate your dedication to the Southeast Chapter and to the American Red Cross!

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