Saturday, September 03, 2005

Disaster Kitty is kickin' it into gear!

Hosting provided by FotoTime

I've been in Red Cross for almost 15 years now, and have gone out on countless local fires and floods, and several national disasters. My first national disaster was Hurricane Andrew- an experience I will never forget. The overwhelming sense of grief when I left surprised me. I cried the whole way home- and not simply because of the destruction. It was because I didn't think I had done enough- I left before the job was done. I've learned this is a normal response, similar to Survivor Guilt, but at the time, it was devastating.

Up until last week, Andrew was the most expensive natural disaster to hit the United States. The national response has been phenomenal. The local television stations held a united telethon for two hours last night, and raised over $700,000.00. Carl Edwards, who just won the a Busch Series Nascar Race tonight, is donating all of his winnings from the race today to the Red Cross Hurricane Relief Fund. Every player on the Cincinnati Reds baseball team is donating one games' salary to the Fund. Just today I saw two little boys who asked their Mom to bring them to the Red Cross so they could give us their allowance money. Blogger's Aid Thursday was a huge success. America is the greatest, most compassionate country in the world!

I can't go South. I have two little boys and a job that need me here. It breaks my heart. I have the skills... but I can't utilize them. It's KILLING me to be on the sidelines yet again.

Yesterday afternoon I got a call from Red Cross asking me to coordinate local volunteer staffing. YAY! Disaster Kitty jumped into action and is on the job. I was fielding calls until after midnight last night, and was at the chapter for over 12 hours today. I'm STILL fielding calls and emails from our volunteers and staff- and I'll be back in the office for another 12 hour day tomorrow. I'm taking our list of hundreds of local disaster volunteers and placing them in logistics, feeding and sheltering positions for the next few weeks.

WHY???? Because we have at least 200 evacuees in our area who need assistance, and hundreds more could be heading this way. Some need shelter, so we have a shelter open in Cincinnati. Some need medical care, and are being transferred here from hospitals in the disaster area. All need help. And as usual.... Red Cross is there to provide that assistance. This time I didn't need to go to the hurricane-damaged towns... instead, they came to me. I guess I can live with that.

I think I'm gonna be REALLY busy for a while....


Post a Comment

<< Home