American Red Cross
More from Stuart Abbey: November 8 – “This morning we headed out to do our jobs keeping the Red Cross vehicles on the road delivering food and supplies to the thousands of people who need it. The wind was brisk the temperature in the 30’s with snow and slush on the ground. And there they were, red faced, eyes tearing, bundled up and cheerfully doing their jobs. And what a diverse group I saw. A couple of 30 somethings who looked like they were on a ski weekend, to a charming couple in their late 70’s and just about everything in between. We have been told by the leadership that volunteers have come from every state, Canada, Mexico, and Japan.
At the end of the day you see them come in tired and ready to fold but grinning and kidding each other. They are electric. You can’t help but get excited about doing your part to help them do theirs. This is what the Red Cross is all about. . .helping people and helping people help people.
What a kick!” Stuart
November 10 – So many interesting people sharing and taking time out of their lives to help other people. From my point of view the backbone of the Red Cross disaster response is with the retired people who have taken the time to train, learning new skills. They then leave their comfort zones to come out and lend a hand to people they don’t even know. Many of these people have never had a job remotely like the ones they perform in a disaster area. It is wonderful how these grand parents, take on these tough jobs and get hooked on disaster response. They will volunteer again and again.
I keep wondering where these people come from. As I go about my duties and chat with them I am delighted with the variety of people that are represented. Sure there are the former first responder types, EMTs, firemen, policemen, nurses and others that come from related fields. But these are the minority. The vast majority were teachers and office workers, government workers, bankers, and, well you name it.
There are all kinds of reasons that I hear from these volunteers about why they leave their normal life to come out after the storm/flood/tornado/wildfire. It was time for a break. It’s exciting. I wanted a challenge. It seemed like the right thing to do. Whatever the reason, it is so great that hundreds of people will turn out again and again to give others a fresh start, and do it, in most cases, with an up-beat attitude that is infectious. Stuart