Across the country, the American Red Cross welcomed residents into shelters, and volunteers fanned out to feed, comfort and care for millions of people affected. Red Cross disaster workers sometimes moved from state to state as storms shifted or new storms formed.
Make a Difference
Cathy Lewis took a three-week leave from her job as a drug abuse counselor with the State of Hawaii Adult Mental Health Division to assist with Red Cross Staff Services working in San Antonio after Hurricane Gustav. Her responsibilities included in-processing and out-processing volunteers, making arrangements for lodging, providing volunteer support and evaluating ongoing staffing needs. Three days after her arrival, she redeployed to Orlando to help communities prepare for Tropical Storm Hanna. When Hanna moved further north and hit North Carolina instead, Lewis and her fellow volunteers deployed back to Texas to help evacuees from Hurricane Ike.
A Red Cross volunteer for more than 20 years, Lewis exemplifies the flexibility and can-do attitude of Red Crossers. “It is overwhelming to watch the faces of folks being displaced by the hurricane,” said Lewis. “I watched as they got off the many buses, looking confused and alone. I am so proud to be part of the Red Cross effort to help these people who suffered such devastating losses from Hurricane Ike.”
The Red Cross has been able to provide services for more than 125 years in large part because of the tireless and dedicated work of volunteers like Cathy Lewis. More than half a million Red Crossers help save lives by providing assistance to disaster victims, delivering community education courses and working with millions of volunteer blood donors.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and counsels victims of disasters; provides nearly half of the nation's blood supply; teaches lifesaving skills; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its humanitarian mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at www.redcrosschat.org.