While most of the country is enjoying the long 4th of July holiday weekend, hundreds of American Red Cross disaster volunteers will spend the holiday away from their homes and loved ones helping people impacted by disasters.
More than 700 Red Cross volunteers are working all over the country, responding to large disasters in West Virginia, California, Texas and Florida. There are also more than 20 American Red Cross volunteers still on the ground in Canada, helping people impacted by the Alberta fires which began weeks ago. In addition to these large disasters, Red Cross volunteers are helping with smaller emergencies such as an explosion in Georgia and home fires all across the United States.
Almost 500 volunteers are helping people affected by the devastating flooding in West Virginia where there could be as many as 2,000 homes damaged or destroyed. The volunteers are supporting shelters and providing meals, relief supplies, health services and emotional support. Red Cross caseworkers are also meeting with individuals to help them plan their next steps.
Almost 20 of these volunteers traveled from South Carolina to West Virginia to help. Others traveled to West Virginia from South Dakota. One of these, Brindia Hall of Sioux Falls, first helped with the flooding in Texas before moving to her current assignment in West Virginia. Hall says she is happy to be able to offer help to people in their greatest time of need through the Red Cross.
More than 140 Red Cross volunteers are on the ground in California, helping the hundreds of people affected by the huge Erskine wildfire which has burned more than 46,000 acres and destroyed as many as 285 homes. As firefighters work to fully contain the blaze, Red Cross volunteers are serving meals, distributing relief supplies and providing health services and emotional support.
A new fire in California is threatening more than 2,400 structures and Red Cross workers have a shelter open to help. Fires are also threatening homes in Montana, South Dakota, Wyoming and Utah and Red Cross volunteers are monitoring the situations with shelters on stand-by if needed.
More than 40 volunteers in Texas are still helping people affected by the recent flooding there. And several volunteers are still offering support to folks in Orlando after the horrific mass shooting.
BECOME A VOLUNTEER Volunteers make up 90 percent of the Red Cross workforce. Their efforts make the vital work of the Red Cross possible, whether helping a victim of disaster or supporting a member of the military and so much more. We salute them all, especially those far from home on this holiday weekend.
There are many different volunteer opportunities with the Red Cross. Some of these include the disaster volunteers featured here, along with those who support members of the military and our veterans, those who teach lifesaving skills such as first aid and CPR, volunteers who support our Blood Services and International Services, along with those who work with our chapters and regions.
You can learn more by visiting the volunteering information here.
MAKE A DONATION If you would like to help the Red Cross support people affected by disasters like flooding, wildfires and countless other crises can make a donation to Red Cross Disaster Relief. People can donate by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. These donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small.