Jim Gillespie came to the American Red Cross in 2005 when he learned about Hurricane Katrina. He went through training and then packed his bags for the trip to Louisiana where he volunteered for more than six weeks. Since that time, Gillespie has been available to volunteer for long periods of time at 17 other national disasters. He served during Hurricane Wilma, the floods in Massachusetts, Illinois, North Dakota, Georgia, and of course, several major floods in Iowa. Gillespie also saw action with Hurricane Ike, the Missouri ice storms and the Colorado wildfires. He made three trips to Super Storm Sandy last fall where he volunteered for more than eight weeks and most recently he went to West, Texas to assist the victims of the major fertilizer plant explosion. It appears he may have set a record for air miles flown the past several years!
Gillespie has completed more than 15 training courses as a Red Cross disaster volunteer and subsequently is usually assigned to logistics, client casework or mass care while on disaster assignment.
In his spare time, Gillespie also volunteers in Central Iowa as a disaster action team member. He committed to working with members of the DAT team responding to local fires and other tragedies.
Gillespie consistently receives outstanding evaluations for his work on both a local and a national level. He is ambitious, fair, considerate and most of all, he listens and reacts professionally and always with a smile.
He provides superior service and an energetic commitment – not to mention the hundreds and hundreds of hours he has given on behalf of the Red Cross.
The Disaster Response Volunteer award honors an outstanding volunteer who has made a major impact on the Red Cross and the communities and clients served.