My name is Karen M. and I’m a new volunteer with the American Red Cross Southern Nevada Chapter. My roles include disaster relief response and supporting the public affairs team.
Just as soon as I started with the Red Cross I received the call to assist people in Henderson who had weathered the recent storms on August 13th. The storms damaged homes and knocked out several power lines leaving families without electricity and air conditioning. With temperatures topping over 100 degrees this crisis quickly became a bigger crisis. I was put straight to work helping to deliver much needed water and cleanup supplies in the neighborhoods affected.
My partner Jerry and I also informed families of the two emergency overnight shelters available for them to cool off, and get food, if needed. The experience was incredible and showed how quickly a disaster’s affects are felt and how unified a community becomes in a crisis. Throughout the day, people directed Jerry and I to those needing the most assistance. Concerns were expressed for neighbors who were elderly, physically challenged, or who had small children. It was great to see a community come together and look out for one another.
That day I also had the opportunity to meet several other Red Cross volunteers who helped me to quickly learn the ropes. Everyone I met expressed how happy they were to have me on the team, and made me feel welcome from the start. With what needed to be done that day there was no time to dip your toe in – you had to just start doing what needed to be done. I was glad to be able to do that with such a great group of people!
I have long respected the work of the American Red Cross, and am thrilled to now be a part of the organization in Southern Nevada. I’m looking forward to this experience and I encourage anyone who wants to become a volunteer to do it!
Please call (702) 791-3311 for more information and check out our website at http://www.redcross.org/local/nv/las-vegas/volunteer to see how you can help!