Story told by Mandy McMahon
“I used to teach Red Cross lifeguarding, swim lessons, all that good stuff. One day, I thought to myself, ‘This disaster stuff looks interesting,’ and in 2004, Florida was getting hammered by hurricanes, so I went to my local chapter and signed up,” Clyde Roberts of Columbia, SC, describes how he first became a Red Cross volunteer.
The next year, Clyde deployed to New Orleans ahead of Hurricane Katrina’s landfall.
“I spent six months in the Orleans Parish emergency operations center and discovered that I had found my niche in life.”
Clyde has been a Red Crosser ever since having deployed to dozens of disaster relief operations for weeks and even months at a time. For the SC Region, Clyde serves as a leadership volunteer in several roles, including operations management, government relations, and building community partnerships. He also supports the organization by being a trusted leader and mentor to volunteers and staff.
“Clyde is a truly dedicated Red Crosser at heart and demonstrates the mission in everything he does. I am grateful for his contributions and the leadership he provides,” said Tony Reid, Regional Disaster Officer for the American Red Cross of South Carolina.
Most recently, Clyde returned from a deployment to California, where he assisted with disaster relief as an Operations Management Generalist after relentless rains flooded communities up and down the state displacing countless families.
“You know – it’s in my blood. Even my wife got bitten by the bug for a while doing spiritual care,” said Clyde on why he’s a lifelong Red Cross volunteer. “If you care about people, about humanity, and alleviating their suffering, at least give the Red Cross a shot. Whether it’s a single-family house fire or a large disaster like this one in California—we’re helping people to get their lives back.”
Join Clyde in making a difference for neighbors in need, near and far. Become a volunteer with the American Red Cross: redcross.org/volunteertoday