Monday, February 20, 2012

Volunteers Train to Help Others

It isn't only our experienced volunteers that show incredible dedication. This past weekend, new volunteers interested in client casework gave several hours of their time to learn about this vital component of Red Cross disaster services.

Client casework is often at the heart of how the American Red Cross interacts with individuals and families impacted by disaster. The Red Cross recognizes that recovery begins the moment a disaster strikes. Sometimes on scene at a house fire, with firefighters still combatting the blaze, our caseworkers provide comfort and support. Many are reassured just seeing the iconic Red Cross logo on a volunteers vest, hat or vehicle. The emotional support provided by our volunteers let disaster victims know they are not alone. The caseworkers assess the disaster victims emergency needs and help establish a recovery plan. Often, these first steps include temporary, emergency lodging and Red Cross financial support for food and clothing. When appropriate, Red Cross disaster health and disaster mental health volunteers are called upon.

Yesterday, volunteers Dorothy Commo and Sue Shulman (left to right in the foreground) and Sophia Parker and Ellen Jarecki (left to right in the background) attended a client casework class taught by veteran disaster action team member Michele Packard.

It is crucial that we continual train new volunteers, including those with an interest in client case work. If you are interested in learning more about how you can help, go to or e-mail our volunteer manager, Angela Russell, at