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The Franklin News-Post
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
540-483-5113
Fax: 540-483-8013

Red Cross opens office in Franklin County
Rocky Mount native is first chapter executive here since 2005
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Staff Photo by Morris Stephenson: Lee Clark, chief executive officer for the Southwest Virginia Region American Red Cross, welcomes Heather Robertson, Franklin Countys first community chapter executive since 2005.

Monday, November 21, 2011

By MORRIS STEPHENSON - Staff Writer

Rocky Mount native Heather Robertson has been named Franklin County's Red Cross community chapter executive, filling a void going back to 2005.

Lee Clark, CEO of the Red Cross Southwest Virginia Region, said Robertson is the first full-time Red Cross employee in the county since the office on South Main Street merged with the Roanoke operation.

"When there is a disaster of any type in Franklin County and the Smith Mountain Lake area, we are here to serve all the people," Robertson said.

"We rely heavily on communication with the local authorities and public safety officials, so when there is an emergency, the Red Cross can be there to provide additional assistance," she added.

In addition to local authorities, Robertson said the Red Cross volunteers will continue to be among the first on the scene in the event of an emergency to provide relief services, such as obtaining prescription medications and providing housing assistance.

Since beginning her duties Sept. 26, Robertson has been speaking to various student groups at FCHS about Red Cross programs and volunteer opportunities.

She is also working to engage Ferrum College students, as well as students in Franklin County at the elementary and middle school levels.

Robertson's office is at 1529 Franklin Street, across from the Franklin County Department of Public Safety on Route 40 West. Regular office hours are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The office number is 483-5621. She also can be reached at robertson@usa.redcross.org.

"Right now, I'm the only one in the office. So when I have to go out, there's no one here to answer the phone," Robertson said. "Hopefully, when the word gets out about our office reopening, we will find some volunteers to help keep the office open during regular hours."

Robertson said she will be actively recruiting volunteers from every possible source, including retirees.

"The work of the Red Cross is made possible by community members from all walks of life," she said.

On Dec. 2, she and Doug Eggleston, the director of Red Cross emergency services, will be speaking to the Franklin County High School Junior Air Force ROTC members concerning the organization's services to the Armed Forces program.

Robertson, the daughter of Ricky and Barbara Robertson of Rocky Mount, graduated from Franklin County High School in 2006 and James Madison University last year.

She worked for a year with a non-profit organization in San Francisco before returning to Virginia and the Red Cross position.

"I'm so glad to be back home in Franklin County and doing a job I know will serve our people in their time of need," Robertson said.

 
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