Volunteers: One Person CAN Make A Difference

By Michele Maki, volunteer contributor, American Red Cross

“I’m so very, very blessed to have my family together.  That means everything to me. I never realized the value of volunteers, until I almost lost them.”  Major Williamson from Rowlett, Texas can hardly contain his gratitude and praise.  “My wife and I were not home when the tornado hit. When they arrived home, and saw nothing but piles of debris, Williamson says he prayed, “Dear Lord…..please….if you can save just two of them…please….”

Cries and screams for help lead Williamson to his children and grandchildren.  “Some were trapped under one of collapsed walls.  It was too heavy for us to lift to get them out.  But we stayed with them and kept talking to them until they were rescued.”  Fortunately, the injuries were minor and the stays in the hospital for two of his children were only a few days.  All ten of his children, spouses, grandchildren are safe now and together with him.

“There have been so many volunteers helping us.  From clearing debris to helping us sift through the rubble to find items we can save, they’ve continued to come and offer help. They have come by to offer meals, water, and a friendly smile.  These were church groups, clubs, and all kinds of volunteers. But the Red Cross has been the most amazing!  They have offered shelter, food, clothing, and open hearts.  They have nurses, trained counselors, and caseworkers.  I will never forget this.  And, it’s made me realize how valuable volunteers are and how healing it can be to help others.  After we get through this, I want to become a volunteer.  I can now see where one person, with an open heart, can make a difference in the life of another.”

If you want to know more about supporting your community by becoming a Red Cross volunteer, please visit:  www.redcross.org/dfw/volunteer.

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