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Volunteers Reunite after Hurricane Matthew Deployment

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“We've kept in touch and recently met in Jamestown. So great to connect and reminisce.”

American Red Cross volunteers are trained and stand ready to respond whenever and wherever they are needed. Cecelia Collins of Jamestown, North Dakota, deployed after Hurricane Matthew hit. It’s at Red Cross headquarters in Ft. Bragg, North Carolina where Cecelia met Cathy Solms, a volunteer with the American Red Cross of the Central Coast in Carmel, California.

While on deployment, Cecelia was with staff services and Cathy was assigned to take an emergency response vehicle into affected neighborhoods to assist people experiencing the effects of Hurricane Matthew. She, along with other volunteers provided food, water, information and comfort to people in need. 

Experiencing a disaster like Hurricane Matthew is life-changing for many. Red Cross volunteers have a lasting impact on the people they serve and end up creating lasting relationships with the other volunteers they work side-by-side with.

Every summer Cathy, her husband, and cat travel from California to Michigan for the summer, then back to California for the winter. They travel through Jamestown, where Cecelia and her husband David live. Cecelia and Cathy have kept in touch and get together whenever possible. The attached picture is from a recent visit in Jamestown where they were able to connect and reminisce. The pair of Red Cross volunteers plan to reunite again in the fall.

If you want to deploy across the country and the world to help those in need, consider becoming a Red Cross volunteer. There are also many ways to help in the community you live in. Click here to learn more about the many volunteer opportunities at the American Red Cross.

The American Red Cross response to Hurricane Matthew

Hurricane Matthew’s high winds and torrential rains battered the U.S. from Florida to Virginia. After the hurricane passed, swollen rivers across the Carolinas caused devastating flooding that inundated homes and communities for over a week.

The slow-moving storm caused widespread damage to property and infrastructure, while flooding displaced thousands of people from their homes. Many affected families had no place to go, or had fled homes with little more than the clothes on their backs. In response, thousands of American Red Cross disaster workers from across the country mobilized alongside local volunteers and employees—many of whom were also affected by the massive hurricane—to bring swift relief.

Thanks to our generous donors, the Red Cross provided shelter from the storm, food and water, relief supplies, basic health services and sorely needed emotional support for people facing devastating losses. And as hard-hit families began returning to their flooded-out homes to clean up and salvage their belongings, Red Cross response vehicles traveled through the impacted areas with meals, water and essential cleanup supplies.

Thousands of American Red Cross workers—over 90 percent volunteers—mounted a massive response to help people devastated by Hurricane Matthew across five states, including Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia. As of March 2017, the Red Cross has:

  • Served more than 1.4 million meals and snacks
  • Supported 378 shelters with over 100,000 overnight stays
  • Distributed more than 460,000 relief items
  • Made more than 39,500 health and mental health contacts
  • Opened more than 10,700 cases for people in need