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Why I Volunteer for the Red Cross

I know I made a difference for her. I know I can make a difference for others.

It’s 2:00 a.m. and the phone rings. One glance at the ID tells me it is the American Red Cross Dispatcher on the line. There’s been a house fire and someone needs help. Get up, get dressed, grab my bag and out the door. At the scene, the Battalion Chief introduces me to the home owner. We find a place to talk and she breaks down. She has lost all her belongings. She has lost her home. She can’t find “Honey” her pet. I talk to her and fill out the paper work. A place to stay – check; clothing – check; something for food – check; toilet items, a booklet to help her organize her thoughts – check. We talk about what she needs to do tomorrow and I tell her we’ll call her tomorrow to see how she’s doing. As I’m leaving she’s sitting looking at the rubble that was her home when “Honey” jumps in her lap. I have to look away…

Why do I do it? I guess I have a need to be needed. I believe I can make a difference. I know I made a difference for her. I know I can make a difference for others. Our client’s loss comes from many different causes - Fires, floods, hurricanes, tornados; the reason does not matter. Everything may be gone. But the American Red Cross is there to help. We, along with our partner agencies help ease the pain, make sure food and clothing is provided, make sure there is a place of shelter available, and start our clients on the road to recovery.

But we need help. For the American Red Cross to provide help we must have funds. And our funds come from you. We proudly post “All services provided by the American Red Cross are free of charge and are provided through the generosity of the American people.” The Coastal Bend Day of Giving is an ideal way for you to donate to us and many of our partners. And, much of your donation will be matched…that’s a win for everyone! Please consider donating to the Day of Giving on Nov. 10, 2015 or go on-line and pledge now.

Won’t you help me meet my “need to be needed?”

- Larry Paton, Coastal bend Chapter Volunteer