This fall, more than 200 American Red Cross volunteers from our region joined disaster relief workers from across the country, helping thousands of people whose lives were uprooted by massive back-to-back disasters — the Midwest Derecho, the continuing, relentless wildfires in the west, and multiple hurricanes. Disaster workers are also responding to local home fires and apartment fires, like the one that destroyed 24 units of an apartment complex in north Fargo on Oct. 11.
As we continue to help hundreds of people affected by home fires around our region and significant disasters across the country, plus the complexities of COVID-19, the Red Cross is urgently looking for more volunteers. Our work is just beginning, and we are looking for more compassionate people to provide food, shelter, comfort and support to those in need.
We are asking people in the Red River Valley and beyond to join our ranks and put on a red vest and turn compassion into action. If you have the time to train and go out on a two-week deployment, you can make a significant impact as a Red Cross volunteer. Our high-priority needs are shelter workers and health services volunteers. Upon return, volunteers can continue to serve our local communities. Additionally, opportunities to virtually support local disaster operations now are available.
This pandemic has impacted almost every aspect of Red Cross services for people in need. But, in the face of these challenges, we quickly adapted our services to continue delivering our lifesaving mission.
From instituting virtual responses to daily disasters like home fires to testing all blood donations for COVID-19 antibodies, the Red Cross remains committed to providing help and hope during this public health emergency.
If you are interested in helping, please go to redcross.org/volunteertoday or call 612-871-7676.
Not only will you help others on their darkest days, you will have one of the most rewarding experiences of your life.
Skoy is the board chairman of the American Red Cross serving eastern North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota.