Kris Weber, a 10 year volunteer with the Red Cross, has played a crucial role in disaster services around the Minot area. She was affected, like thousands of others, by the 2011 floods of Western North Dakota. After her Minot home went through rebuilding last year, Weber has been able to give back and participate in this year’s Feeding Minot project that has served over 18,000 meals and snacks (as of Aug. 20).
How did you get started volunteering for the Red Cross?
I became a lifesaving skills instructor to assist the child care center I worked for and that turned into teaching courses for the Red Cross. It became a passion for me and besides teaching, I became trained to assist with Disaster Response.
How did the Red Cross impact you during the 2011 floods?
I was first activated in Minot and Bismack in April and Mat to assist with the Red Cross flood efforts before our home was flooded in June. When our home flooded, I remember how humbling it was the first time we got food from the Red Cross. I cried as I walked away, but was so grateful to the volunteers with their smiles, hugs, and words of encouragement. Now, I have a new-found purpose while passing on that same compassion when serving others.
How are you currently volunteering with the Red Cross?
This summer, I have been actively involved in all stages of the Minot Feeding Project. I started serving and now I assist in driving the vehicles. The people working on their homes across Minot are so excited to see us coming. It has been very rewarding for me after being on the other side of the window receiving meals during the flood last year.
How has volunteering for the Red Cross impacted you?
I was raised to understand the importance of giving back to the community, or paying it forward. Whether it is teaching CPR skills, offering assistance to a family who just lost their house to a fire, or handing a bottle of water to someone working on their home, what I get back is much more than they will ever know. My heart smiles every time I interact with the community.
What are the more memorable moments you’ve had volunteering?
There are too many to count, as they all have touched me in some way. I would have to say the most rewarding experience I have had was working the call center during Hurricane Katrina. Knowing we were able to make such a difference for so many people so far away was awesome. On the local level, the current work I am doing in areas rebuilding in Minot has been amazing. I understand what they are going through and am happy to see my community rebuilding and becoming whole again.