Volunteer Joanna Ross reflects on her recent experience at the Red Cross shelter in Hilliard :
The Hilliard shelter, opened because the area was severely affected by winter weather and power outages, was my first time volunteering at an emergency shelter. My night at the shelter highlighted why I love what I do with the Red Cross.
One client was an elderly woman who had lost her electricity the day before due to the extreme weather conditions. Because she lost her husband 5 years ago, and had no children or pets, there was nowhere for her to stay. But she was the center of attention at the shelter, grinning from ear to ear surrounded by people she’d never met before who genuinely cared. We all sat down with her at some point, listening to her stories about her days of playing the piano and her lifelong love of music.
Reflecting on my experience volunteering on the Disaster Action Team and at the emergency shelter is extremely humbling. People put their trust in us in when they are facing disaster. And we put trust in each other as Red Cross representatives. Most of the volunteers had never met, but as we sat and chatted it was as if we’d all known each other for years. It was wonderful being there to talk with the client and lift her spirits, while being welcomed into a family of amazing, sharp, funny, hard-working people, dedicating their lives to helping those in need. I am so grateful to be a part of this team and a part of a community that supports each other in times of need.