Red Cross lays off 10 workers locally

Tony Lange

Lack of donations cited as cause

The American Red Cross of Summit and Portage Counties laid off 10 paid employees this week.

The organization, which had employed 35 workers locally, cited lack of donations and a decline in investments as the reason

for the layoffs.

The layoffs appear as if they will affect the main office in Summit County more so than the one in Ravenna, said Patricia Dunivan, a longtime disaster relief


Dunivan, who regularly attends the Red Cross in Action Event information sessions in Ravenna, said that when she arrived at the planned event Tuesday, nobody showed up. Only Executive Director Bonnie Wilson and Assistant Manager Denise Bergman were there, she said.

“We just sat and talked an hour,” Dunivan said. “There was supposed to be a policeman and fireman there today and nobody came. They didn’t say a word about anybody in Ravenna being laid off. I can’t say that they aren’t laid off, but they didn’t say that they were.”

The American Red Cross is the only organization mandated by government without government funding, Wilson said. The organization is chartered, but it isn’t provided tax dollars.

Some of the Red Cross’ services include disaster relief, blood services, military support and first aid.

“Every service we provide is free,” Wilson said during an In Action Event more than a month ago. “This is a gift to you from the American public.”

Contact social services reporter Tony Lange at [email protected].