By Zoobia Asif, Red Cross Volunteer
Our society is filled with people who consistently restore our faith in humanity. One such person is Cindy King, who has been volunteering with the Red Cross for the past twenty-two years. She initially started as a blood donor, which led into teaching CPR/First Aid, and eventually became a member and leader of our Disaster Action Team (DAT); the role she loves the most as it gives her a first hand experience of helping people in need and gives her a chance of learning from those she helps.
Cindy has traveled to several relief operations including the World Trade Center after 9/11, Hurricanes Katrina and Ike, and the Mississippi and Missouri River flooding. She has witnessed countless heart wrenching stories during these disasters, but the one that really touched her heart was at the World Trade Center, when she helped a woman who had lost her husband. Cindy assisted in getting information regarding her financial matters by introducing her to the experts and agencies. Cindy recalls how she came in tears, exhausted, frustrated and left with a smile on her face.
When asked about the major changes she has observed over the years, Cindy replied that human needs are still the same: food, clothing and shelter. What has changed is the number of people volunteering. In the past, the Disaster Action Team volunteers were restricted to three shifts a month due to the high volume of volunteers. Today, DAT members go above and beyond covering as many shifts as possible because there aren’t enough volunteers to share the load.
Cindy feels that her volunteer work gives her the satisfaction of giving back to the community; making her more appreciative of the things she has in her life. The work helps her better understand the transient nature of the world; things we have today, might not be there the next day. She has no plans of slowing down; still volunteering five days a week, donating blood on a regular basis and completing her master’s degree in Emergency Management. When not volunteering, Cindy is at home, with her three cats, busy quilting, and enjoys singing at church and in a German choir.
From everyone at the Red Cross to Cindy, thank you so much for all you do!
If Cindy’s story inspires you to become a volunteer then please fill out a volunteer application and attend one of our volunteer orientation sessions!