The American Red Cross mission is to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors. When we say “the power of volunteers,” we talk about amazing people like Helen Miller from Eastern North Carolina. She started volunteering with the Red Cross in 1991 and currently has more than 125 deployments as a disaster volunteer. She’s even served more than once during the same disaster response in different roles.
“Compassion is a thing of the heart,” she says. Helen joined the Red Cross when her husband – a Marine on active duty – was deployed to Kuwait. “I had extra time; my employer was cutting my work hours by 10. I decided to reach the Red Cross office and volunteer. I started answering the phones. I felt the need to help others,” she explained.
In January 2023, Helen was one of many volunteers from all over the coutnry who touched down in California and helped both people and communities affected by the atmospheric river storm systems and subsequent floods. She was part of the feeding team, working hard to make sure that everyone – from the shelter residents to other volunteers and staff members – had hot meals every day. She stayed two weeks on this deployment before returning home.
“I have deployed in all the roles of Mass Care: I have operated several kitchens serving over 4,000 meals daily. I have also deployed as a caseworker and even as an Emergency Response Vehicle driver,” she says. When Helen is not deployed, she serves as Mass Care Lead for the Easter North Carolina Region.