Spontaneous Flood Volunteer Joins Red Cross Disaster Action Team

Spontaneous Flood Volunteer

Photo courtesy of James Hastie, American Red Cross Major Gift Officer

I just wanted to help people begin to rebuild their lives.

When a flood devastated the city of Oneida in late June, Anthony DeFrank knew he wanted to help his friends and neighbors whose homes were destroyed or damaged.

So DeFrank, who moved to Oneida from Chittenango about four years ago, became one of about 300 “spontaneous” volunteers who joined the Red Cross from throughout Central New York and the Mohawk Valley.

“I just wanted to help people begin to rebuild their lives,” said Anthony, who works for the ARC of Madison County.

In the weeks following the flood, Anthony worked at the Red Cross shelter at the YMCA of the Greater Tri-Valley in Oneida; handed out cleaning supplies and other items at a Red Cross bulk distribution site in Oneida; and also provided water to residents who needed it.

A member on the Church of the Rock in Oneida, Anthony is now in training to become a Red Cross Disaster Action Team member. DAT members respond to house fires and other disasters.

“I want to join the DAT to help if something like this happens again,” Anthony said.

Unfortunately, it will happen again. But thanks to caring and dedicated volunteers like Anthony, the Red Cross will be ready to respond when people need us the most.