By Saskia Lindsay
Terry Hevener was a nurse for over 40 years across the Southeast. After retirement, she knew that she had skills that her community could benefit from, so she decided to volunteer with the American Red Cross. Now, Terry is a Disaster Health Services R.N. with the Red Cross and has deployed three times just in the past year.
"I had a skill set that I thought the community could use. As a nurse in a hospital, we're always kind of rushed. At the Red Cross, I've got time to spend with people impacted by disasters and it's just fulfilling to me,” said Terry. “I think the the people we serve appreciate it, too. I tell them, we're in this together.”
In the last year, Terry has deployed to Mississippi, California, and New Mexico to help families after disasters from tornadoes to floods. Terry says she particularly enjoys deployments because she is able to help people across the country.
“I've met fantastic people who run the shelters, who drive the emergency vehicles, who provide food for clients—everyone I've met with the Red Cross has been a wonderful person,” said Terry.
The Red Cross relies on thousands of nurses and other health professionals, like Terry, to bring our mission to people in need each day. Talented, practical and generous, these committed humanitarians bring relief to disaster victims, work with veterans in military hospitals, and collect lifesaving blood.
"Communities have to help one another,” said Terry. “Volunteering with the Red Cross is a profound way we can help our communities, locally and globally.” Along with helping communities in their time of need, the nurses of the Red Cross develop and teach courses ranging from disaster preparedness to addressing health equity through the social determinants of health. Red Cross health professional volunteers serve in direct care roles, management, supervisory, and governing roles throughout the organization.
"If you've ever thought about wanting to do something for your community locally, regionally, or all over the country, volunteering with the Red Cross is the way to do it,” said Terry.
To learn more about volunteering with the Red Cross, go to www.redcross.org/volunteer.