REM Award Honorees (2018) — Lorraine Bernier (American Red Cross)

Lorraine Bernier joined the American Red Cross in 2012 after her husband died and she lost her job. For the first time in her life she felt she did not have a reason to get up in the morning, she felt she had lost her purpose.

A friend told her to get up and at least go volunteer somewhere. She considered her friend’s advice and started to make a list of nonprofits she had a connection with. Her hope was to begin to meet new people and perhaps get an opportunity to find a job.

She chose the American Red Cross because a few years earlier the Red Cross was there to help her son and his two little girls when they had a fire and lost almost everything. The fact that someone from the Red Cross showed up was a comfort to her. That red vest meant HELP, and guidance in what needed to be done next to help put her son’s and his family’s life back together.

She shared with me that all her life, she helped and served people and what better place than the Red Cross would there be to continue giving back.

She works in the office 30 to 40 hours a week as an administration assistant to help the staff in any way she can. Since joining the Red Cross, Lorraine has become part of the Community and has expanded what she does by serving on the Androscoggin Volunteer Administrators Committee and coordinating Red Cross participation in events like parades, Touch A Truck, Heroes Breakfast, Annual Gala and our Annual Golf Tournament.

Lorraine also supports Disaster Services as a caseworker meeting with fire victims and helping them secure the resources they need after a disaster. As a trained shelter volunteer, she has worked with the disabled making sure they receive the care and support they need. Lorraine also traveled to Georgia as a member of a “strike team”, who went where the need was the greatest. Lorraine shared with me that being deployed gave her the chance to meet and work with wonderful people and staff and to understand that the impact that one person can make can mean all the difference!

“I am so fortunate to be a part of this great organization and to be able to help in any way that I can,” she says.

For more information about the American Red Cross of Maine, please visit its website.

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