The Cleveland Chapter of the American Red Cross celebrated its relocation with new neighbor businesses Saturday.
The Red Cross has moved to 3856 Candies Creek Ridge Road.
“It’s extremely exciting for us to be on such a visible location,” Julia Wright, local community development manager, said. “Now we actually have neighbors that are here to support us.”
An aroma of popcorn filled the air as children jumped on a moon bounce at the family friendly event. Children also enjoyed balloon art and face painting.
Wright said the event was about “just really welcoming the community to know where we are.” She said the organization wanted to make sure people knew their was still a local chapter.
“To just invite them to come in and be a part of the Red Cross,” Wright said.
Areas businesses provided food and supported a door prize drawing as they welcomed the organization to the shopping center.
She said the local chapter hopes to grow the number of volunteers and those taking classes as a result of this move.
Community members were invited to tour the new facility and its historical Red Cross decor. One office wall features Red Cross posters from the 1950s.
Wright has kept the offices semi-unassigned to provide volunteers more flexibility on where they can work.
Wright said the new office was “more strategically located for the services that we do.” The new location provides a spot closer to the Interstate to get supplies to disaster areas.
“We didn’t want to leave this area; we knew we wanted to have a presence here,” Regional Chief Executive Michelle Hanks said.
The first CPR class to be taught in the new location took place Saturday morning.
“We’ve already had some really good reviews from the students that took our class this morning that they are much happier to come to this location,” Wright said.
Instructor Kimberly Fisher said different classes are going to be offered twice a month at the new location. She said attendance in the classes is pretty consistent.
Hanks said the accessibility of a Red Cross chapter is the number one concern in choosing a location. Cost is also an important factor to ensure donation money is used wisely.
About 90 percent of donations to the Red Cross goes to the organizations services and programs, Hanks said. Donations can be made by contacting the local chapter at 472-1595 or visiting www.HiwasseeRedCross.org