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Volunteer Q & A: Connie Hildebrand (Bismarck)

Connie Hildebrand has volunteered with the Red Cross since 1997, when she volunteered to assist individuals and families living in Grand Forks after the devastating flood in the area. Since then, she has served the Red Cross by being a lead volunteer through Disaster Mental Health, comforting and assisting Red Cross clients with their emotional, physical and mental wellbeing after experiencing a disaster. She also serves on the Disaster Action Team (DAT).

How did you get involved volunteering with the Red Cross?

The problems faced by Grand Forks, the community where I had lived, worked and obtained my undergraduate college degree from 1968-81, activated my emotional concern and personal attention. I just knew I had to volunteer for the Red Cross.

What are some of the specifics that you do for the Red Cross?

I serve on DAT and as a Disaster Mental Health volunteer in Bismarck. Each month I assist several times to provide DAT response and also assist on the mental health issues during an emergency call, through evaluating for community mental health referral or follow up.

What has been the most memorable moment for you?

While serving in Wisconsin on a national flood assignment, I performed my duties as I normally do, when I received a note from a fellow volunteer, who wasn’t familiar with the importance of disaster mental health. The note read: ‘Connie – you have demonstrated what a dedicated, concerned mental health person can do with a disturbed client. You have soothed her, helped her, listened to her, and been an advocate for her…I am proud to have served with a professional such as you. Thank you for vividly showing me what volunteers like you can do for clients.’

Why is it important to volunteer?

Each individual I’ve ever met has a special skill, talent, or gift to offer others. The Red Cross offers a perfect opportunity for everyone’s individual abilities to be utilized. Find your fit by volunteering today.