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Friday, August 31, 2012

Meet Your Bloggers: Mary Hastings

Mary (Jacoby) Hastings
My name is Mary (Jacoby) Hastings and I am a relative newcomer to the American Red Cross volunteer ranks. I took a leap of faith when I left my job of 15 years in April 2012 to follow my heart and take a new path to make a difference in the lives of others.

As part of that process, I am writing a book, Giving Veterans a Voice, which involves conducting hours of interviews with veterans nationwide from every modern day conflict.

Further, I am an 18-year resident and local community volunteer in Conifer, Colorado with a firsthand understanding of the impacts wildfires have on communities and the value of the American Red Cross during disasters.

My work with veterans led me to connect with Service to Armed Forces (SAF) Regional Manager Tim Bothe as an introduction to the Veterans History Project for the American Folk Life Center of the Library of Congress. I record firsthand accounts for the historical archives. I also assist SAF during pre-and post-deployment events introducing American Red Cross programs to the National Guard and Reservists and their families. Further I am training to be a SAF caseworker and I help at other SAF-related functions when needed.

I also volunteer on the Public Affairs team assisting Regional Communications Director Patricia Billinger with media during and after disasters as needed. This role involves being on-call for a three-day period to provide public information about our Red Cross response when disaster strikes in the Metro Denver area, including the foothills.

I started my company, All Write Imagineering, in 2011 and established a web presence in 2012 at www.allwriteimagineering.com to provide writing and editing services. My background includes fulfilling my dream of working at Walt Disney World armed with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communication from Miami University in Oxford Ohio; helping to launch the 9Who Care and 9Health Fair at Denver’s KUSA Channel 9; teaching at the University of Virginia while earning my Master of Arts degree in Rhetoric and Communication Studies; serving as a state press secretary and liaison to The White House; working as a corporate national sales training manager; covering news and events as a newspaper reporter, photographer, columnist and editor. My most significant life achievement to-date was being able to somehow squeeze in a few years between high-profile jobs to open a licensed daycare so that I could be a stay-at-home mom.

Please watch for my future SAF blogs!www.redcross.org

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