When a disaster strikes, your local American Red Cross responds, providing food and shelter to those who have lost everything. Now, more than 30 residents of Summerton are trained to quickly take action to help their neighbors should a disaster strike.
During the one-day Disaster Responder Bootcamp, held on January 23 at the Clarendon One Community Resource Center in Summerton, volunteers learned the essentials of responding to a disaster. In just eight hours, participants become qualified to feed and shelter their neighbors in Summerton, as well as surrounding areas, during a disaster. In addition to classroom instruction, the boot camp featured interactive case studies, with volunteers learning how to help individuals, families and communities to prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters.
“As a Red Cross volunteer, you can help your own community during a disaster," said Rebecca Jordan, executive director for the Red Cross of Central SC. “We never know when or where the next disaster will strike but we do know that the Red Cross will be there with care, comfort and hope.”
The Bootcamp is also the first step to becoming eligible to deploy to large disasters across the country. In the past year, local Red Cross volunteers traveled to West Virginia, Texas, Louisiana, California, Iowa, Georgia, Mississippi, and Canada to help families affected by floods, wildfires, and tornados.
When asked about why she volunteers with the Red Cross, Kathleen Gibson, Coordinator of the Clarendon One Community Resource Center, explained that she wants “to be able to take care of my own town and be able to help during a disaster.”
Volunteers make up more than 90 percent of the Red Cross workforce. These volunteers represent a variety of backgrounds and receive free training. Volunteers with the Red Cross can set flexible schedules in volunteer positions that appeal to their specific skills or interests. To learn more about volunteering, visit redcross.org/southcarolina.