Throughout Kenneth Stutts’ life, he was instilled with the importance of giving back to his community by his parents and grandparents, and encouraged to volunteer for anorganization that gave him the most hands on experience–Kenneth chose The American Red Cross.
Kenneth Stutts, an Attorney, in Rowan County, NC, was working one day in the court house, when he all of a sudden remembered that it was time to schedule another appointment to donate blood to the American Red Cross. Stutts was a regular contributor, donating every few months for the past 4 years. He knew right then that he had to stop and take a minute to schedule an appointment as he normally does on the Red Cross website. When viewing the website, he continued to scan further when something caught his eye – a paragraph about disasters and the DisasterAction Team. He looked down at his watch, and knew it was time to resume preparing for the court case scheduled for the next morning. However, throughout the day, Stutts continued to ponder about the opportunity to volunteer in disaster services.
A few days passed, and Stutts was still thinking about disaster volunteer opportunities, so he finally decided to call the Red Cross to schedule a time to find out more about what the disaster team actually does, and to see if he would be interested or even a good fit. He had a great conversation with Monica Bruns, disaster program specialist and it was then, June 2012, that he decided to give it a try as a disaster volunteer. “After attending my first disaster, a single family house fire, I knew this was where I needed to volunteer my time,” said Kenneth Stutts. “My call schedule is from 5:00 p.m. Friday to 8:00 a.m. the next Friday morning, every three weeks. I really enjoyed working with the team, and the opportunity this gave me to help people in the community where I was born and raised.”
Stutts decided to continue to learn more about the disaster role and how he could play a greater role in helping those individuals and families who had been affected by a disaster, and making sure all of their emergency needs are met as soon as possible. His training paid off as he was invited to be a DAT Captain in March 2013. So now, every three weeks, Disaster Captain Stutts has it down to a science as he sets his phone ringer on loud, positions his team members phone numbers right beside the phone, and lays his Red Cross attire on the chair where he can jump up at any time of day or night to respond.
“When a disaster occurs, I receive a text message from Rowan County Communications Department with the type and location of the disaster. I then call back with a timeframe of when they should expect us on the scene. From there, I quickly call my three team members, get dressed and drive to the Red Cross Chapter Office within 20 minutes,” said Stutts. “We then pack the Disaster Vehicle with the items needed for the specific disaster, and head out to the site. Upon arrival, we talk with the First Responders to get more specific details. Then we begin helping the people who have just lost everything, or just a few things begin the recovery process of getting their lives back together when they have nowhere to turn, and feel their lives have been destroyed.” Stutts notated that having the opportunity to help people instills a great deal of humility, and makes him feel good to know that he’s fulfilling his community responsibility to help those in need.
Stutts was born and raised in Rowan County. He graduated from Boston University and Chicago-Kent College of Law. After living and working in Chicago and Melbourne Australia, he returned to Rowan County in 2011 to practice law in his hometown.
As a Rowan County United Way Agency Partner, we would like to thank the United Way for providing us financial support for disaster response.