Volunteers aid in disaster relief
Published 8:27 pm Wednesday, May 3, 2006
The week of April 23-29 was Volunteer Week. There are few organizations I can think of that have more volunteers than the American Red Cross. The American Red Cross is, at last count, made up of more than 92 percent volunteers.
Locally we have 1.5 workers and two volunteers in the office on a regular basis.
When there is a disaster, there are more volunteers who step up to the proverbial plate and enable the local chapter to reach countless families who need assistance.
Thank you so much for volunteering especially during the last two years.
Volunteers have always come to assist, but with the last two hurricane seasons especially the need has been great. Many people have stepped forward and helped so much.
Thank you to those who came into the office and helped with all those clients who came here for Katrina/Rita assistance. That paperwork for assistance was an enormous undertaking.
Much of it was done by local volunteers after the national volunteers moved on to assist in other affected areas.
Housing out of town clients was a big undertaking and local churches, the YMCA and volunteers worked with clients, feeding, sheltering, and overseeing the sheltering process.
So many of you cooked food, brought or bought clothing, toys, and other items to make those displaced families more comfortable. Having the ability to shower at the YMCA and relax there made a big difference in what was accomplished overall.
Local volunteers who are in the Red Cross office on a daily basis have made such a difference in what we are able to do. Those volunteers who deliver both Red Cross and Community centered services include Rose McGowan, Lillie Graham and Chris Smith.
Thank you to all who have helped during the storms and in the recovery process. Gary Robinson was the main long term shelter manager during Katrina. There is no way we could do what is needed of us without all of you who volunteer in various areas.
I am unable to include all the names of those who make it possible for this Chapter to feed, shelter, or assist those who are displaced or in need. Please accept our most sincere, heart felt thank you.
Rogene Martin is the director of the East Escambia County Chapter of the American Red Cross.