I have volunteered with the American Red Cross for over twenty years. I started in Milwaukee by responding to local fires when a person or family needed food, shelter, and/or clothing after their residence sustained damage from a fire.
My book, Bringing Hope: A Disaster Relief Journey will be released on August 1, 2017. Here is an excerpt from Chapter Eight - Night in the Life of a Disaster Volunteer 1992-2013
"My national deployments were only short side trips to my everyday volunteer work as a Disaster Action Team (DAT) member.
At my very first Thursday shift-change meeting in 1992, I picked up my pager, hard hat, steel toe boots, and an eight by ten inch laminated placard with the Red Cross logo. The pager would be tethered to me 24/7 for the next week. I was ready. Nervous and excited, but certainly ready. The pager could begin to beep at any moment. Excitement, fear, trepidation are just a few of the emotions I faced when I attached the pager to my jeans pocket. I received no call the first night. No call the second night. I wondered if I’d even get a call. Typically the team responded to three to seven fires a week in the Milwaukee area.
On the third night, my pager finally began beeping at ten o’clock. My heart immediately started to race."