Ten years ago, Harvey Kling retired to Bamberg, SC to play golf. The local Red Cross Chapter was at rock bottom, with a very small bank account, unable to provide required services and with only four active board members. With no prior Red Cross training, Kling left the golf course and offered to get things on track utilizing his executive business training and experience from working with other charitable organizations.
Kling attended numerous seminars and workshops, which included leadership courses in training areas provided by the Red Cross, such as disaster, health & safety, HIV/AIDS prevention, military casework, community service delivery and human resources. He reorganized the Board of Directors, adding members with expertise in advertising, law disaster emergencies, the medical field and a State Representative, to fill out an 18-member board. Currently, there is a waiting list for board membership.
Since the schools serve as primary shelter areas, Kling provided training for more than 200 schoolteachers, principals and administrators in sheltering procedures. Additionally, the Red Cross, under his leadership, has assisted numerous families in single family disasters and held countless blood drives, CPR trainings, disaster briefings and disaster trainings/workshops. Kling has served in different capacities with the chapter, including Board Chairman and Charter Member to the South Carolina State Council of the Red Cross.
Kling is also actively involved with the local Lions Club, Bamberg Job Corps, Community Relations Board, Masons and the Old Friends Annual Golf Tournament, which provides a $1,500 scholarship each year to a local high school senior.
"Kling is ready to provide community service wherever or whenever needed," remarked Emma Dowling, Chairperson, Blood Program, Bamberg Red Cross, "If there is a need, he will be there."