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Husband-Wife Volunteer Team Aids Flood Victims in Kentucky
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By Caitlin Cobb, PR/Marketing Intern, American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter
August 21, 2009

For Clay and Susan Drake, volunteering is not an obligation. Rather, it is a way for this retired couple to utilize the skills they have and help those in their community and beyond.

The Drakes volunteer regularly with the American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter in Contra Costa County, and they were deployed to Kentucky for severe flooding in late May 2009. Clay Drake volunteers in health services while his wife Susan volunteers in mental health services.

When they were sent to Kentucky, the Drakes’ main goal was to help clients and other volunteers cope with the disasters at hand. “People often wonder, what is a normal reaction to disaster?” Susan Drake said. “We want to help people normalize what’s going on, and let them know if how they are reacting to the disaster is normal.”

As a mental health worker, Susan ensures that people are getting the support they need.

Volunteers, like Clay, who work in health services ensure that people are physically comfortable and they receive any medical attention they require.

The Drakes were initially motivated to help after seeing the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina. They felt frus­trated that they could not help in New Orleans, and then sought out the Red Cross to volunteer in future disasters.

“Volunteering was an avenue for us to use our skills and help people at the same time,” Drake added.

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