December 6, 2007

Red Cross Recruiting Local Disaster Team Volunteers

The family of four clings together as they watch firefighters attack the blaze consuming their home. They were lucky: they all escaped safely, but with little more than the clothes they were wearing.

What are we going to do now, Mommy? the scared three-year old said as he tugged on his mothers clothing.

The Red Cross volunteer, overhearing the question, kneels down beside him and places a comforting hand on his shoulder. The volunteer reassures him, promising him that the American Red Cross will give him a place to stay and see that he has clothes to wear.

When the volunteer asks, Do you like Mickey Mouse? the boys eyes light up. He grabs the stuffed animal and holds it close, soothing it just as hed been comforted moments ago.

Red Cross volunteers make a difference every day in the lives of families like this one, who have lost their homes, and hope, because of a disaster. Assistance from the Red Cross initially provides for basic human needs, such as a place to stay, food to eat, clothing, and necessary medications or health items. Volunteers continue to work with the family as they plan their long-range recovery.

During the last fiscal year, the local chapter responded to more than 20 emergencies such as this one, where volunteers provided compassion and Red Cross services to those who were displaced. This assistance was provided free of charge, thanks to the generosity of the people of northern Missouri.

If you enjoy helping others and would like to make a difference in your community, volunteering for the Red Cross may be for you. The Red Cross is currently recruiting volunteers for disaster teams in each county they serve: Adair, Knox, Linn, Macon, Putnam, Schuyler, Scotland, and Sullivan counties. These teams will respond to disasters in their communities and provide Red Cross services quickly and efficiently, with the support of the chapter office. All training and supplies will be provided free of charge to the disaster team volunteers by the American Red Cross.

Applications are available at the chapter office at 315 S. Franklin, Lower Level (in the basement of the TCRC), P.O. Box 257, Kirksville, MO. For information about this or other programs offered by the American Red Cross, please call 660.665-5686.

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