Marlene Hess is a Muenster, Texas native who is currently employed with the National Capital Area Chapter of the American Red Cross in Washington, DC. When the North Texas floods struck in mid-June, she immediately volunteered to travel home and work in her hometown to help those in need. Hess is not a stranger to volunteering. In 2005, she spent one year in Namibia, Africa with the Peace Corps where she helped train school teachers to educate children on HIV/AIDS awareness – this was not an easy task. "There were a lot of misconceptions about the disease that dominated the small village," Hess said.
Volunteering to help victims of the North Texas floods became a family affair for Darlene Williams, Marlene and MaryAnn Hess.
Phot Credit: Mark Loeffler\American Red Cross
Since her arrival in the Gainesville area several days ago, Hess has been working to raise money for Red Cross disaster relief efforts. "Because I'm familiar with the area, I knew people in this community would be generous, helpful and resourceful in the recovery process," said Hess. Helping others seems to be a family trait.
Darlene Williams, Hess's twin sister and a math teacher at Muenster High School, pitched in to help, too. Williams states she has dual motives for volunteering. "I thought this was the perfect opportunity to see what my sister does for the Red Cross and be able to help the people of our community at the same time. I knew that if I was working with the Red Cross, I'd be doing something useful."
This spring and summer have been very wet across much of Texas. Red Cross workers have been helping their neighbors, friends and families cope with the ebb and flow of this cycle of disaster. The agency has provided shelter for those displaced from their homes and mental health counseling and distributed food, water and cleaning supplies. "I continue to be heartened by the generosity of the people from all over the nation, but particularly those from Cooke and Grayson Counties. It's part of why I love working for the Red Cross. In daunting circumstances people do amazing acts of kindness and in my hometown, I'm happy to be here to help," Hess said.
All American Red Cross disaster assistance is free, made possible by voluntary donations of time and money from the American people. You can help the victims of thousands of disasters across the country each year by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, which enables the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, counseling and other assistance to victims of disaster. The American Red Cross honors donor intent. If you wish to designate your donation to a specific disaster, please do so at the time of your donation. Call 1-800-REDCROSS or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish). Contributions to the Disaster Relief Fund may be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P. O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013. Internet users can make a secure online contribution by visiting www.redcross.org.