By Robert Kramel, American Red Cross Volunteer
My wife and I move around the country a lot, it happens about every two years. We have done this since the start of our marriage seven years ago. Even while moving and “changing it up” every couple of years, it helps to find norms through all the chaos that moving involves. One of the norms that we have developed is the practice of doing charitable work or community work where ever we land.
Since I am still taking classes and working full time, she took on the task of finding a good fit. She eventually stumbled upon the American Red Cross of Ocala. After the orientation, she met with the group of volunteers and knew this was it. The folks here in Marion County took her right in and made her feel like one of their own. We’ve learned so much in a few weeks about the Red Cross – like how different it is from other organizations in that they focus on the immediate needs of people affected by a disaster. They are the ones that specialize in showing up when disaster strikes.
We are now part of the DISASTER ACTION TEAM! It’s just as cool as it sounds! Here is the deal; DAT is a team that is on-call for the Red Cross a week at a time and responds to disasters like house fires. When we found out we were like wow this is it! The cool thing about it, at least for us, is that there is no set time to be there or a certain amount of hours you must put in every week. That allows us to keep business as usual but respond when a need presents itself. To start, we went out with experienced DAT members who would walk us through the process. It was so rewarding to see somebody who just lost their home change because of your time and efforts. I can see how the Red Cross is able to help them start the recovery process and it is an experience you will never forget. Now we are ready to go out on disaster calls on our own. So stay tuned…..
If you are interested in becoming an American Red Cross in the Mid-Florida Region volunteer or a disaster relief volunteer like the Kramel’s click here.