Dave and I were called Sunday and asked if we could deploy to Baton Rouge to work the Red Cross Disaster Relief mission. We arrived Monday evening and so far, are working at the Red Cross warehouse loading emergency supplies that are being delivered to shelters and to communities suffering after Hurricane Laura. This evening we may be reassigned to a new warehouse being established in Port Barre.
Instead of staying in a staff shelter we sleep in our slide-in camper which rides in the bed of our truck. We have been camping at a nearby RV park. We can do this because we are members of the Doves RV group. The Doves formed after 9/11 as a subgroup of the Escapees RV organization. At that time the Escapees and the Red Cross coordinated to establish a way full time RVers who are geographically mobile could work Red Cross missions as trained volunteers attached to a Red Cross chapter. That is the Doves.
Dave and I are retired Army officers and lived full time in a 38-foot travel trailer for several years after retiring. Two years ago, we bought a tiny cabin in the Southern Appalachians to use as our base camp. We sold the 38 footer, downsizing to a slide-in camper.
We have always volunteered for a variety of events and causes from road and cycling races, animal sanctuaries, concerts, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, a llama farm, Special Olympics and Make-A -Wish, to name just a few. Wherever we go we look for ways to help.
We joined the Western North Carolina Chapter of the Red Cross in March 2019 and so far, we have deployed after two hurricanes; Barry and now Laura in Louisiana. Back in Western North Carolina with our chapter, we also install smoke alarms, help with blood drives, evaluate and recertify facilities for use as possible shelters and take additional training so we can be called on when needed for many more things. We love that the Red Cross is a humanitarian organization and that there are so many ways we can help, whether in person or virtually.
We are almost always on the move. We hike, ride motorcycles, bike, kayak and boat. We are adventurers and we love helping people.