May 23, 2002 11:00 pm

The Union County-Baker County chapter of the American Red Cross is looking for donated office space for its La Grande


"We've been in the basement of Pierce Library for five years, but now Eastern Oregon University needs the space," said executive director Beverly Higley.

"The free space provided by the university has been very nice and they even provided us with a storage room and classroom space."

Now she has to find a new location with handicap access by June 30.

"We're desperately looking for a home," she said. "And we have no budget to pay rent. We're a 501(3) (c) organization, so if someone is looking for a tax writeoff for the space, maybe this is it."

Ideally, the space would have room for three desks, for Higley when she is in La Grande two or three days a week, for a La Grande employee and for a volunteer.

"We have 220 square feet of space now and would need at least that much. And we need room for storage of such things as the manikins we use in our training. It has to be a room that can be locked because of the confidential files we must maintain," Higley said.

She would like it on the ground floor, she said, or at least to be in a building with an elevator because the space must be accessible.

The move comes at a time when the Red Cross is expanding its service delivery, Higley said.

"We've had twice as many house fires in both Union and Baker counties in the last year as the year before, including one fatality and one seriously burned person," she said.

"We want to put more effort into educating people about fire safety. We haven't talked to the fire departments yet, but we are looking for a partner to do this. We'd like to give out smoke detectors and also fire extinguishers.''

Meanwhile, anyone wanting to donate office space can call her at the Baker City office, 541-523-2231.

— Ray Linker