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Volunteer Driven by Helping Others

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I enjoy helping others

CHARLESTON, S.C. -- John Coy, a disaster-trained Red Cross volunteer, received a call in the middle of the night that was all too familiar.  A community needed the Red Cross, and Coy was on call for disaster assistance as he is three days every week. 

This time a bridge had collapsed over a railroad in Moncks Corner derailing several train cars, breaking a water main and leaving residents in the area without water. 
Berkeley County Emergency Management officials requested Red Cross assistance in getting emergency portable water to homes in the affected area. Coy, with the help of other Carolina Lowcountry Chapter volunteers, loaded up the Red Cross emergency response vehicle and headed out.

Coy has volunteered for Red Cross many times on fire responses, been a Spanish translator and given pre-deployment briefings to members of the armed services. This was his first time, however, being behind the wheel of the Red Cross’ emergency response vehicle known as the ERV.  He says he took extra Red Cross training to be an ERV driver, so he could have more ways to help.

“I enjoy helping others,” said Coy.  “It is what drives me.”

Coy added he is especially proud to be an ERV driver, because he has been on the receiving end of services from an ERV more than once.

“I was a fireman for 17 years,” he explained. “When we would fight a big fire, the Red Cross ERV would come rolling up to give us water and food and it was such a good feeling to get that kind of help. Now it is my turn to help others from the ERV.”

Coy is one of more than 3,600 people that proudly call themselves Red Cross Palmetto SC Region Volunteers. To learn more about volunteer opportunities go to and enter your local zip code.