Local Red Cross to cut 4 positions

Four jobs at the Western Slope Chapter of the American Red Cross, 506 Gunnison Ave., are being eliminated as part of a nationwide effort to slim costs. The cuts are effective Sept. 1.

Eric Myers

The American Red Cross’ Western Colorado office will eliminate four positions as part of a nationwide effort to slim the disaster relief agency’s costs.

Eric Myers, who officially became executive director of the Western Colorado chapter of the American Red Cross on Monday, will be the only paid employee of the chapter beginning Sept. 1. Myers replaced David Hintch.

Myers was the chapter’s emergency services program manager until two weeks ago, when he began the transition into his new job.

That position will not be filled, and the chapter will lose its health and safety director, health and safety program specialist and a part-time administrative assistant.

The Red Cross depends entirely on monetary donations and volunteers.

For months, Red Cross chapters across the country have been looking for ways to save donor dollars.

“Unfortunately, in our chapter that meant staff cuts,” Myers said.

Myers said most people outside the organization probably won’t notice changes to the local office. Volunteers will continue to offer local Red Cross classes, community services and disaster response.

“In looking at decisions to make sure the Red Cross can still exist nationwide, cutting services to the community wasn’t ever on the table ... We’re just trying to be better stewards of the donated dollar and make sure it goes to who needs it most,” Myers said.

The local Red Cross chapter’s board of directors will continue its work of organizing fundraisers, board chairwoman Gay Hammer said, and Myers expects the Red Cross will seek more volunteers nationwide.

Hammer said it was unfortunate the office had to eliminate positions.

“But I think we’re going to do just fine here as a chapter because of the volunteers and the board,” she said.


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