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Why I Help: Volunteering with the Red Cross Enables Me to Help People.
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Bob Porter and Sharon Alfred
November 6, 2008

As a member of the Red Cross Disaster Services Human Resource (DSHR) team, I remain ready to respond to disasters wherever I may be assigned. I have been an official Red Cross Disaster and Emergency Mental Health volunteer for over 10 years. Of course, I have been in the mental health field and disaster responder for close to 30 years. But, I really came to appreciate the immediate relief that American Red Cross mental health workers can give to disaster-stricken victims shortly after a disaster has occurred.

Bob Porter
"Oregon Trail Chapter volunteer, Bob Porter, a member of the Red Cross Disaster Services Human Resource team, discusses talking points of the Psychological First Aid course for Military Families."

I volunteer with the American Red Cross because I am truly able to make a positive difference in others' lives by helping them cope with disaster and trauma related stress. I provide a full range of direct mental health services to disaster victims and their families, as well as other Red Cross staff and volunteers who may suffer stress-related disorders due to the brutality of some events.

Volunteering with the Red Cross enables me help people no matter where they are and what they are going through. I've been deployed to regions outside the Oregon area to help survivors deal with the disasters of Hurricane Katrina, the 9/11 World Trade Center incident, and the California wildfires to name a few. More recently, I have been involved in the train-the-trainer course for Psychological First Aid for Military Families.

I've also had a chance witness the good works that Red Cross organizations do in other parts of the world, whether I am participating in a conference of the Malaysian Red Crescent Society, or visiting fellow mental health care workers of the Rwandan Red Cross.

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