Friday, April 11, 2014

Board Member, Volunteer Brant Daniel Says It’s All About Support

By Kassidy Ketron, Intern

Board Member and Volunteer Brant Daniel said his work with the American Red Cross is all about offering support.

For the past three years, he has been a board member and served on the service delivery committee for the South Plains Regional Chapter.

“We’re there to support the staff, to fundraise, to make sure that financially and just to make sure everybody gets the support they need to carry out their functions,” Daniel said. “Staff-wise, as far as what they need to do to get volunteers, get volunteers plugged in. We’re there to support.”

Not only does he serve on the board, but he has helped respond to a few local disasters.

These experiences were an eye-opener for him, he said.

“You can’t even at that time put yourself in their position, but just to see that they just need to know that somebody’s there to guide them through, to know that they’ll have a place to stay, that they’ll have their basic needs taken care of,” Daniel said. “Just because they’re in a state of shock and to know that there is somebody there to help them through, and to oversee the next few hours and days as they try to get things put back together.”

Often times, he said the public is used to seeing the American Red Cross on TV responding to a large-scale disaster, and may overlook the disasters that occur right down the street.

“We kind of tend to overlook the little things that happen that might not seem like much here, but to the persons involved, I mean, it’s everything and just to know that there’s an organization here that can help see those people through the immediate times,” he said, “to help them get back on their feet and get the immediate needs and concerns taken care of and they’ve got somebody to walk them through that process.”

Not only does Daniel believe disaster response is rewarding, but knowing that he is a part of an organization that does so much to help people.

Whether it’s health and safety training or emergency preparedness, he is proud of what the Red Cross does.

“It’s just that same thing and even the assistance that military families are given, you’ve got the disaster services and just knowing there’s a place in the community that people can get health and safety training,” Daniel said. “Just all the way across the board is just something that is so vital to our community and being prepared as we enter tornado season. There’s preparedness, there’s health and safety, there’s what we do for connecting military families in their time of need, I just appreciate everything that is behind the Red Cross mission.”

He said he also appreciates the work the staff and volunteers put into making the chapter successful and still keep smiles on their faces.

After he was approached to join the board, he said he realized how important it was to take care of local Red Cross chapters, too.

“It’s just the feeling you get knowing that if something happens in the middle of the night anywhere in our 13 county region,” Daniel said, “and I know the same goes on across the country, that there will be somebody there to fulfill that mission of making sure that somebody’s needs are being met.”

This National Volunteer Week, we salute people like Brant, who work hard to offer support to the American Red Cross’ mission. To join Brant and learn about volunteer opportunities, visit redcross.org to start your Red Cross story today. 

Friday, March 14, 2014

Erin Imhoff volunteers for the feeling


By Kassidy Ketron
Intern

Erin Imhoff volunteers at Red Cross for the rewarding feeling she has knowing she is preparing people to save a life.

During her nine years at Red Cross, she has taught babysitters classes, wilderness first aid, CPR for the professional rescuer, and CPR for the first aid responder.

“I originally started with Red Cross in college because I needed to be recertified to work when I went back home,” Imhoff said. “And the woman who would be certifying me said that I would be a good candidate to teach Red Cross classes. So that’s how I got started.”

Teaching life saving skills is something she said she has really enjoyed about teaching the different classes at the American Red Cross.

“(I like) the fact that it’s not useless knowledge,” Imhoff said. “It’s actually knowledge that you can apply to make a difference or to actually save someone’s life.”

She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in social services at Lubbock Christian University and works at a local social services program, as well as volunteering for Red Cross.

When Imhoff isn’t teaching classes, she is responding to late night calls of a disaster like any Disaster Action Team Captain would. DAT is disaster response unit of people who respond to disasters at any time of the day, providing counseling, clean-up kits and shelters.

“I think sometimes it’s emotionally draining, especially when you have to get up at 3 a.m. and go out there,” she said. “It’s a lot of quickly preparing yourself to cope with someone else’s emotions. But, when all is said and done and you’ve taken care of business, it’s rewarding. It’s kind of like a natural high because you did something helpful, something that no one else could do at 3 a.m. but you.”

Even though Imhoff has school, work and volunteering to juggle she said it’s all about organization and time management.

She said at the end of the day, knowing she taught someone to save a life and gave them the knowledge they need, makes it all worth it.

“I think just in general, it’s all very rewarding, but on different levels,” she said. “Going out on a DAT call is different, it’s kind of more of them warm fuzzy (feelings). In regards to teaching classes, I think it’s just the idea that you empowered somebody to save someone’s life is very rewarding.”

Even after nine years, Imhoff still has a good time with the American Red Cross.

“I think it’s a lot of fun and I think it’s very rewarding to be able to provide assistance in someone’s time of need,” she said.

Although Imhoff has never had to use CPR on anyone, she knows how to save a life if she ever needs to because of her time with the American Red Cross.

“(With) Red Cross, I’ve got life saving skills,” she said. “I think overall, I think it’s a very supportive. The chapters are all very supportive of their volunteers and employees and I think that’s helpful to maintain and to make them want to be a part of Red Cross.”

To join Erin Imhoff and other hardworking volunteers at the South Plains Regional Chapter, visit our website and learn more.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Judy Pevytoe Volunteers For the People She Helps


By Kassidy Ketron

Intern


Being part of the American Red Cross isn’t just a place for volunteer, Judy Pevytoe, to help people in a disaster. It gives her a purpose.

“I love the mission of the Red Cross,” the volunteer services events team coordinator said. “I love what it stands for and I love helping people. It makes me feel like I have purpose.”

Pevytoe has volunteered with the South Plains Regional chapter for about a year and a half, with about 4,000 volunteer hours under her belt.

She first learned about the Red Cross when we was out shopping.

“I was bored and wanted something to do,” Pevytoe said. “I happened to be out at the mall and Molly (Mabery, former volunteer specialist) had a table out there and I was talking to her and she made the Red Cross sound interesting.”

After she had a stroke in 2004, Pevytoe was spending time at home because she was disabled.

Despite her medical problems, she volunteers anywhere from 50 to 60 hours per week.

“We’ve had high school kids up here volunteering,” Pevytoe said, “all the way up to, the oldest couple I know that are volunteers are in their 70s. And then of course, like me, I’m disabled and I work up here, of course, healthy can, too.”

Last year, she was awarded the Golden Presidential Award and Rookie of the Year.

Anyone that is interested in volunteering, Pevytoe said can do anything from office work, service to the armed forces, teach CPR classes to disaster response.

“(I like Red Cross) because it is a good organization and without volunteers we wouldn’t be able to do what we do,” she said.

During her year and a half with the American Red Cross, Pevytoe said the disasters that stick out most to her are apartment fires.

“They’re so massive,” she said. “You know, when we have an apartment fire, we call everybody in and everybody just jumps in and does what needs to be done.”

Pevytoe said the most rewarding thing about volunteering is the gratitude victims of a disaster have.

“Most of the time you can see a relief and they’re real grateful that we’re there to help them with whatever we can help them with,” she said. “That look and to know that you’ve helped them (makes it worth it) and a lot of times you get a hug out of it.”

To join the American Red Cross South Plains Regional Chapter, visit redcross.org/volunteer and see how you can help.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Severe Weather Awareness Week — Make Sure You Are Prepared


Photo courtesy of National Weather Service

By Kassidy Ketron
Intern


It’s Severe Weather Awareness Week, which means it’s time to make sure you are prepared in case bad weather hits your city.


  • What hazardous weather can affect the area where you live and work and how could it impact you and your family?
  • Bookmark weather.gov to get the latest forecast information
  • Follow the National Weather Service on Facebook and Twitter
  • Read the State of the Climate reports to discover historical trends

2. Emergency Preparedness Kit

Before disaster strikes it’s a good idea to have supplies prepared that you might not otherwise think to get during the fact.

At minimum, you should have:
  • Water—one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)
  • Food—non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)
  • Flashlight
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
  • Extra batteries
  • First aid kit – Anatomy of a First Aid Kit
  • Medications (7-day supply) and medical items
  • Multi-purpose tool
  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items
  • Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
  • Cell phone with chargers
  • Family and emergency contact information
  • Extra cash
  • Emergency blanket
  • Map(s) of the area 

3. Family Disaster Plan

It is important for your family to be as prepared as possible when faced in case of emergency, which is why we think you need to make plans and practice what you would do in such an event.
  • Meet with your family or household members.
  • Discuss how to prepare and respond to emergencies that are most likely to happen where you live, learn, work and play.
  • Identify responsibilities for each member of your household and plan to work together as a team.
  • If a family member is in the military, plan how you would respond if they were deployed.
  • Plan what to do in case you are separated during an emergency
  • Plan what to do if you have to evacuate 

4. First aid and CPR/AED certified

You never know what might happen during severe weather. Planning for the worst, isn’t always a bad thing. Make sure at least one person in your household is first aid and CPR/AED certified.

Severe Weather Awareness Week is a great time to learn more about where you live and the weather that can affect you. It’s also a great time to get prepared. For more information visit our website.