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Red Cross in Henry County needs volunteers
by Nneka Okona
January 15, 2013 03:49 PM | 2378 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Katherine Frye <br>
From Left, Red Cross Volunteers Matt Lavendar and Sherry Cornwell.
Staff / Katherine Frye
From Left, Red Cross Volunteers Matt Lavendar and Sherry Cornwell.
The local affiliate of the national organization Red Cross needs some assistance from Henry County residents — in the form of volunteers.

Ruben Brown, the media relations coordinator for the organization, said they have a primary need for disaster relief volunteers.

“These are the people that respond to home fires, typically multi-unit fires at apartment complexes or single family home fires,” said Brown.

Last year, in Henry County alone, there were 33 fires and assistance was provided to 143, at either single family homes or multi-unit, such as apartment homes.

The number of fires and those helped might not seem like that many, but with such a limited amount of volunteers to help those in need during a disaster, such as a fire, it can be a stretch, according to Brown.

As of now, there are only 15 volunteers that service the southside of Atlanta, including but not just mutually exclusive to Henry County.

Volunteers in this capacity, referred to as disaster action team members, respond any time — day or night — to local home fires.

“They get up in the middle of the night sometimes to respond to home fires,” said Brown. “The provide food, shelter and emotional support to those who have lost things.”

Although volunteers may, from time to time, be called to assist in bigger disaster relief efforts, the concentration is primarily on the local community of Henry County, especially getting volunteers that are Henry residents.

To become a volunteer, those interested must fill out an application on The Red Cross’ website.

Following the application process, prospective volunteers complete training in disaster assessment, casework and shelter operations, at no cost.

Volunteers must be at least 17.

Brown said from his experiences with The Red Cross in his almost 20 years with the company, he knows the value that volunteering for the mission holds.

“It’s humbling because you need to put yourself in the place of those who have lost most, if not all, of what they own,” he said. “It is a sobering experience, but it is also rewarding. It is a good feeling to know that you can help someone out.”


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