Working with the Red Cross lets Volunteer Joyce Adams Fulfill Her Promise to Help
Joyce Adams, The Grand Canyon Chapter of the American Red Cross, Phoenix, Arizona
by Teresa Luk, Red Cross Volunteer Journalist
Since she began volunteering, Joyce Adams’ dedication to the American Red Cross is evident in all that she does. Her work ranges from being the leader of a Disaster Action Team (DAT), to being a disaster assessment supervisor for Disaster Services Human Resources (DSHR), to being a dispatcher routing calls to state-wide locations, or, to being a disaster coordinator so as to direct teams to areas wherever aid is needed most.
Adams is certified to teach many subjects, including disaster assessment. Additionally, she provides disaster assessment to remote areas via phone, to optimize manpower availability throughout the state. In 2009, she took initiatives to establish partnerships with a couple of non-profits to secure new blankets, decorated flip-flops, winter skull caps, and toy fabric balls; all of which was used in Red Cross disaster relief operations.
Adams is committed to Red Cross service for two special reasons. The first reason was to fulfill a promise that she had given to her terminally ill sister, Janet Marlene Conant. Conant had volunteered for the Raleigh Triangle Chapter in North Carolina until health and/or other complications forced her to stop. So, she said to Joyce (Adams): “I love you sis, now it is your turn to take my place at the Red Cross.” Joyce Adams and her husband, Roger, immediately signed up to volunteer.
Adams’ second reason for joining the Red Cross was because her own experience in disaster bonded her with those who have experienced the same sorts of trauma. A first-hand encounter with disaster impressed upon the Adams the comfort that the Red Cross workers can provide to others.
In July 2002, a fire swept through northern Arizona. The fire devastated 180 homes within the Heber-Overgaard community, and Joyce and Roger Adams’ cabin was among the casualties. In the Adams’ case, a debris removal operator removed debris, and accepted whatever their insurance would cover. The compassion of the volunteers and this debris remover stirred the desire of both Joyce and Roger Adams to volunteer themselves, and team up bring help and comfort others.
In 2007, Joyce and Roger Adams, who were both DSHR assessment supervisors, provided the Critical Response Teams’ framework in working with the city and the fire department during disasters. “We enjoy meeting and comforting clients, helping to ease their pain just a little as the recovery process begins,” asserted Joyce Adams.
As Emergency Response Vehicle drivers, the Adams represented the Red Cross at grand openings of fire stations, Oktoberfest in the mountains, emergency services day at local churches. Joyce Adams stated that: “One thing I always tell new volunteers when we teach DAT overview is that the Red Cross teaches you, trains you in the field, and trusts you to go out and serve the community following the Red Cross principles.” She also tells them, “You’ll like it here.”
PHOTO CAPTION: (Country Club Apt Fire) - Superlative Red Cross volunteer Joyce Adams, of the Grand Canyon Chapter of the American Red Cross, gives handmade blankets to fire victims Laura Moralez and Jorge Moya. Photo Credit: Michele Maki, American Red Cross Volunteer Photographer.