Chuck Reeves first heard about volunteering for the American Red Cross from two close friends. Both volunteered with the Red Cross after Hurricane Katrina. Reeves said the stories they shared with him about their experience made him realize that volunteering with the Red Cross definitely be something he would like to do.
For 39 years Reeves dedicated many of his hours to working at a factory which left him with little time to volunteer. He always wanted to be a part of an organization where he could help others in need. So, when he retired six years ago, he immediately sought out the Red Cross and found out how to become involved.
On his first assignment, Reeves traveled to Nashville, Tennessee after severe flooding. Reeves said their main mission was making sure people had food, clothing, and shelter. “When people have just lost everything we can provide them with a place to stay, food, and give them some money for clothes,” Reeves said. “We help until they are able to get support elsewhere.”
Since that first deployment, Reeves has volunteered at disasters across the country. After Hurricane Irene hit the East coast, flooding left people without homes and they turned to the Red Cross for help. Reeves worked in the shelters in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Reeves and other volunteers also helped distribute food to these shelters over the course of three weeks.
Reeves also volunteers in central Iowa where he is a disaster action team member. He often responds to single family home fires, but most recently he helped in Lake Panorama after a tornado damaged the small lake community. He drove the emergency response vehicle and helped give out food and water those involved in clean up.
Reeves said the best part of being a Red Cross volunteer is “how appreciative the people you are helping are, it is a great feeling.” He said he always receives good feedback from all of those he has helped. “It is definitely an experience I would recommend to other people.”