More volunteers are needed to assist those suffering from disasters in Sevier County. Several volunteers in the area have had to take time off because of health problems and other reasons. The American Red Cross Disaster Action Team (DAT) is now looking to increase its membership.
Despite the chaos and late night phone calls that accompany DAT membership, the opportunity can be rewarding for those who serve.
Cathey Dayton, the Interim Sevier County DAT Captain has been an amazing temporary leader and has assisted in five house during the past 6 weeks.
DAT members say the community has embraced the Red Cross mission and the work of its volunteers. “On two separate occasions, we went into the Denny’s on the Parkway with our clients to fill out paperwork,” said Dayton. “Each time, Denny’s has provided everyone with drinks and some food without charge. “It was two totally different management staffs, and both of them could not have been more gracious.”
On January 26th, another fire led the Red Cross volunteers to a convenient store and cafe near the Jefferson County line on Highway 25. At least 10 people came up to the victim, hugged her and offered their condolences as well as any assistance they could give. The market staff also reassured the team they could stay as long as they needed even though they were closing for the night. One particular gesture of kindness came from a woman who took the victim’s keys and filled her car with gas.
“The generosity is there. What we need is volunteers who can take a week or two of call – who can be there in a moment’s notice when disaster strikes and who can provide that comfort the Red Cross is known for,” said Benjamin Prijatel, Red Cross Communications Director.
To volunteer for the Red Cross in Sevier County, call (865) 584-2999 or visit www.redcross.org/tmv