My Red Cross Story: Marco Johnson
By Rose Ellen O'Connor, Volunteer
For the first time in 50 years, Marco Johnson wasn’t home for Christmas. Marco, a Red Cross volunteer, responded to the urgent call for volunteers in December 2019 to staff shelters in Chico, California, where one of the largest wildfire disasters struck residents of Northern California. The Red Cross Shelter at the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds was already open for over a month when Marco arrived for his two-week mission, and the volunteers he replaced were worn-out. The California Camp Fire Disaster Response Operation (DRO) was a level 7 event, which describes the degree of conditions and recovery needed. This is the highest level of any disaster - equating to about 10 to 20 million dollars of financial support needed.