From Saint Louis, to Florida, the Red Cross Volunteers came to help our community.

St. Robert

The American Red Cross volunteers: “We've Been Everywhere”  

Sue Davidson

Special to the Daily Guide

From Saint Louis, to Florida, the Red Cross Volunteers came to help our community. They came from Missouri, Wisconsin, and Georgia.  They came from the midwest and from New Jersey to Florida and states in between.

Volunteers deployed from many states to assist clients in recovering from the record-breaking flood that hit the area at the Multi-Agency Resource Center (MARC) held in the St Robert Community Center earlier this week.  

The Daily Guide was curious about these helpers in red vests and wanted to know what motivated them. The reasons why the volunteers came and why they volunteer at all were as different as the states they traveled from.

As they busily helped victims from Pulaski County, the Daily Guide got to know some of the volunteers, asking why they volunteer, where they were from, and hoping for some insight into what makes these Red Cross volunteers tick.

The Daily Guide learned that they all had one reason in common for volunteering and that was because they wanted to help.

Leah and her service dog travelled from  North Carolina.  Leah volunteers as a special disability liaison.  One of her many responsibilities is to bring attention to areas in the MARC that sighted people overlook.

Leah and her service dog patrolled the MARC, indoors and outdoors, making sure the MARC entrance and indoor areas and pathways from each station were clear of chairs and protruding objects.

Leah patrolled the indoor and outdoor areas all day, stopping only for a short time time to talk about her volunteer experience.

Leah said she volunteers because she “wants to help people and give back.”  

Leah has not let her disability hold her back from volunteering and is working with the Red Cross to help integrate more people with disabilities into the Red Cross Volunteer Program

Bill was raised in New Jersey.  Volunteering for the Red Cross was on his bucket list.  Bill joined the Red Cross soon after he retired.  Bill said the most difficult aspect of volunteering after a disaster is “seeing the pain and suffering.”

John Matthew is from Mexico, Mo.  He works with the Red Cross because he also wants to help people. He said the hardest aspect of working after a disaster is seeing hardships.  “ I want to make everything right….but  it takes time .”

Dennis, from Kentucky volunteers “Because.”  

Years ago, as a firefighter, Dennis told the Daily Guide, he saw the Red Cross helping a little girl during a house fire.  It’s something he's never forgotten. He volunteers because he wants to give back.

Dennis said, “I work with some of the best people in the world.  They come from all over to help people they’ve never met.  It takes a special breed.   Something needs to be done and (you) just need to get out there daily.”

There are many more untold stories from the Red Cross Volunteers, but their first priority was helping the clients ( flood victims).

In the brief intervals between clients  they called out, “ I’m from Paduka Georgia, New Jersey, Florida, South Carolina, Vermont, Kentucky, Alabama, Tennessee,  and Missouri.

Several of the volunteers had  lived in Missouri before moving to another state.

Red Cross volunteers said the hardest aspect about volunteering after a disaster is death, injury, and property destruction, but most of all feeling like and wishing they could have done more.

These dedicated volunteers will finish up here in a few days and will head back to their home states until they are needed somewhere again.