The flood water comes up, or the tornado comes down, or the wildfire burns through. Your neighbor lost everything. Where does he go for help? It could be that he comes to you for help...if you have the knowledge and connections to get it for him. As an American Red Cross disaster volunteer, you can. Red Cross volunteers learn how to help their neighbors, whether they define "neighbor" as someone down the street or across the country. Through the Red Cross, they have the connections to get their neighbors the emergency help they need after a disaster. The the needs from big disasters are obvious -- clothing to replace what was soaked in the flood, or house repairs after the tornado. Less obvious are the Disaster Action Teams, local volunteers who show up at housefires to arrange a motel room for the night, fresh clothes for the morning, meals while the family is getting its feet back on the ground.
Volunteers have many jobs: feeding hungry survivors, operating emergency shelters, connecting survivors with friends and family, and the multitude of behind-the-scenes jobs like delivering supplies or handling paperwork. Right now, there's a shortage of Red Cross volunteers here in Blanco County. A local disaster would mean the Red Cross would quickly use up the trained manpower here and begin calling out-of-towners to come help.
Blanco residents have a chance to change that when the Red Cross holds a new volunteer orientation course at the Blanco United Methodist Church at 9 am Saturday, July 21st. The course will provide an overview of what the Red Cross does between and during disasters, and the many ways a volunteer can choose to train and help. The training is free, but pre-registration will assure there are enough materials for everyone. To put your name on the list, call Terry Faglie in the Hill Country Chapter office at 830-257-4677.