Four years ago Brian Mason was alerted via amateur radio that a winter storm was headed towards his home in Logan, Ohio. Knowing that the power would likely go out, his family headed to an American Red Cross shelter.
Daughters Sarah and Emily brought games to entertain children staying in the shelter. Brian and his wife, Anna, brought dry goods for the shelter to use, as well as his amateur radio equipment which allowed the shelter to communicate with Red Cross emergency response vehicles transporting supplies from Columbus.
After finding refuge that day, the family began a tradition of caring that continues today. The entire family now volunteers for the Red Cross. They serve on their local disaster action team, helping immediately after disaster, and continue to operate emergency shelters - an activity that is near to their heart.
Ohio was one of the states hard hit by the recent storm that slammed across the country, leaving millions without power. The Red Cross opened a shelter in Logan to support those who lost power during some of the hottest days on record. More than 300 residents visited the Logan shelter during the eight days it was open.
The Mason family was there, ensuring the needs of their community were met. They divided their days with two family members operating the shelter while the other two ran home to rest. The Masons are part of a small number of people in the county who didn’t lose power. Knowing they were needed at the shelter, they spent their time taking care of their community.
Anna praised her community and the resources offered to the shelter. The community emergency response team provided staff for the shelter, while a local food bank supplied meals. The local hospital provided a medical bed for a resident, and the community swimming pool across the street offered their showers to those staying in the shelter.
The family helped their community in its time of need. When disaster strikes, the Red Cross is there, providing food, shelter and comfort. Much of this Red Cross work is accomplished by a remarkable group of more than 60,000 disaster volunteers like the Mason’s, who are highly trained and ready to respond when needed.
BECOME A VOLUNTEER Volunteers make up more than 96 percent of the Red Cross workforce. The Red Cross has many different volunteer opportunities. To learn more about becoming a Red Cross volunteer, people can contact their local chapter or visit the Volunteer Match section of the Red Cross web site.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies more than 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.