The Greater Chesapeake Region of the American Red Cross is pleased to recognize Mitchell Segal of Sharpsburg, MD, as its August 2019 Volunteer of the Month.
Segal joined the American Red Cross as a volunteer in 2017. He spends time each month as a Disaster Action Team (DAT) Duty Officer for Western Maryland, monitoring potential calls for assistance and working as a point of contact for first responders. He’s also a DAT responder for Washington County, working tirelessly to respond to local residential emergencies and disasters such as home fires. DAT volunteers are trained in administering to the needs of victims of disasters.
Segal focuses on deployment opportunities during the spring flood and later hurricane seasons, assisting nationwide as a DAT responder. He also commits an average of 15 hours per week as a Family Contact Volunteer, providing support to military recruits and their families at Military Entrance Processing Stations (MEPS) as part of the Red Cross’ Service to the Armed Forces programs.
Segal, parent of an armed forces member, has contacted and educated about 100 families since he started his SAF role in March. Without Mitch those families would not know about vital Hero Care Center services, which includes emergency communication services for military families and helpful referral services for veterans, noted SAF Regional Coordinator Ivy Walker.
“Mitch started as an event-based volunteer during Hurricane Harvey and has been an active disaster response volunteer ever since,” said Julia Brown, Red Cross Volunteer Services Recruitment Specialist. “He has been on six deployments, is a reliable and detail-oriented DAT leader, and has recently taken on the role of duty officer. Western Maryland and Greater Chesapeake are lucky to have Mitch on the team, and we are so grateful for all his hard work and leadership!”
“There are three reasons motivating me to volunteer and why I would encourage others,” Segal said recently, after returning from a deployment in the Midwest. “These are benefits that should encourage anyone about how good this country’s people are in these discouraging times.
“One, being able to help people when they’ve suffered a tragic event is enormously satisfying,” Segal began. “Not just in providing funds but being there to offer encouragement and hope. People really appreciate volunteers who come to help them in the middle of the night or from a great distance, and their thanks are genuine.
“Two, I’ve been so impressed with how Red Cross volunteers come together from all around the country to help with disasters. When I was recently in Missouri, I worked with volunteers from California, North Carolina, and Alaska as well as the local volunteers. It’s great how everyone comes together, despite all the different backgrounds and personalities. It’s also a tribute to the Red Cross training we receive that provides common goals and processes.”
“Three, it’s also great to see all the groups that come together to help with disasters,” he added. “This was particularly true in Missouri where we had daily contact with churches, lots of non-government groups, the county government agencies and elected officials.”
Regardless of your skillset, the American Red Cross can use your expertise and is always in need of volunteers. To learn how you can serve your community as a Red Cross Volunteer go to: https://rdcrss.org/2Rgm6xq or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.