Sunday, June 9, 2013

Red Cross Volunteers Provide Hope and Help to those Displaced 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE(Shaftsbury, VT – June 9, 2013)  Last night, a Shaftsbury, VT family of five, including three children ages 5 to 15, lost their home to fire.  The Cleveland Avenue blaze devastated the home, causing the family to lose everything.  Red Cross disaster services volunteers with the organization’s Bennington County Disaster Action Team took action to extend a helping hand. 

Knowing that a displaced family’s recovery begins the moment disaster strikes, the volunteers responded quickly to determine the family’s emergency needs.  The Red Cross made arrangements for the five to stay in a local hotel for the next few nights and provided financial assistance to replace food and clothing lost in the fire.  With these immediate needs addressed, the trained Red Cross caseworkers set a follow up meeting for today to determine what other forms of assistance or referrals can be offered to help in the recovery process. 

“This family, as with each family that loses their home to fire, faces a difficult road ahead,” said Doug Bishop, spokesperson with the Vermont & the New Hampshire Upper Valley Region of the American Red Cross.  “We are thankful for the work of our volunteers and for the support of others in the community that help ensure a Red Cross response is there for each family in need.” 

Red Cross volunteers with the 12 Disaster Action Teams throughout our region strive to meet with disaster victims as soon as possible, ensuring that both emotional support and immediate assistance are available.  In addition to the lodging, food and clothing support that is traditionally provided, volunteers can connect the displaced with Red Cross disaster health and disaster mental health services and offer referrals to state, local and charitable resources in the area that can help the impacted residents as they begin their difficult road to recovery. 

A vibrant volunteer corps helps the organization maintain its ability to provide timely and compassionate assistance to people across our region that have been impacted by disaster.  To be a part of our group of dedicated volunteers, no prior experience is necessary and all the training that is needed is free and will be provided.  To learn more about the American Red Cross volunteer experience, go to or contact Angela Russell at 802-660-9130, ext. 107 or 

To help people affected by fires as well as devastating natural disasters, a donation can be made to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief.  Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance in response to disasters. Visit, call 802-660-9130, ext. 111, or mail your contribution to American Red Cross, 29 Mansfield Avenue, Burlington, VT 05401.