ShareThis Page
Red Cross says northern Westmoreland will not be forgotten |

Red Cross says northern Westmoreland will not be forgotten

| Friday, August 14, 2009 12:00 a.m

Red Cross officials say residents in northern Westmoreland County still can count on the agency to provide services in times of trouble.

They just won’t have an office in Lower Burrell anymore.

“We’ll still provide aid to fire victims, blood drives, education efforts — we just won’t have a physical office in Lower Burrell,” said Donna Pacella, executive director of the Red Cross Westmoreland County Chapter.

Leia Shilobod, former chairwoman of the now-defunct Chestnut Ridge Chapter, which included the Lower Burrell office, said the global economic downturn partially contributed to the necessity to close the office.

The national office mandated that all chapters pass balanced budgets for the 2009-10 fiscal year.

“We hadn’t reached our fundraising goals, so we had to cut our costs,” she said. “We rented our office in Lower Burrell, so that was a financial liability we didn’t have to deal with in Latrobe, where we own our building.”

The Westmoreland County Chapter board voted in March to close the Lower Burrell office at the end of July, a month after the Chestnut Ridge Chapter merged with the Westmoreland County Chapter.

Local Red Cross phone numbers will continue to work, but will be routed to the central office in Greensburg.

“It wasn’t an easy decision to make. We were very happy to have that location for the past several years and we wanted to have a physical presence in the area,” said Shilobod.

In place of the Lower Burrell office, the chapter will, in the coming months, form an advisory board to communicate the region’s need to the administration.

“We don’t want people to feel cut off from the Red Cross — they’ll feel their voices are heard even though we’re down here,” in Greensburg, she said.

The chapter has not begun selecting members for the advisory committee and Shilobod said the chapter welcomes nominations.

“From that perspective, we might have a larger impact on the community,” she said. “We won’t be waiting until someone walks into the office to learn about an issue. We’ll have advisers at work in the community.”

Categories: News
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.