SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- (09/12/2017) Today the southern Missouri Red Cross hosted a training session to prepare over 30 volunteers to head down to both Texas and Florida to help aid in the relief efforts already underway.
"Our staff is minimal, but our volunteer base is large so we can't function without our volunteers," said David Miller, Volunteer Disaster Project Specialist with the Red Cross.
The day's training equipped volunteers with knowledge of how to serve in disaster relief shelters. However, this is only a small portion of what the volunteers will be doing upon arrival.
"We do a lot of event based volunteers where they may be, when they get down to a job site, retrained in something else that they can serve in," said Miller.
To participate in the Red Cross's on location relief efforts, there are a couple of requirements. Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age and also be able to pass a criminal background check, but most importantly, they must be ready to leave at almost a moment's notice.
Those who volunteer will be required to leave as soon as 48-hours after being given their assignment and willing to stay in their assigned areas for at least 14 days.
"After going to Katrina and seeing all the work that was done and how important it was for people to have a place to go to, you have to have your volunteers," said Vicki Hanson, a Red Cross volunteer.
Despite the huge commitment, both the Red Cross and their volunteers are excited to lend a hand.
"It's nothing compared to what the people down there are dealing with, so it's only a small sacrifice compared to what others are dealing with," said Kevin Demera, a Red Cross volunteer.
"The reward is so immense. I've never felt so humbled," said Arlene Krebsbach, a health services nurse with the Red Cross.
If you're interesting in volunteering, or would like to donate to the Red Cross's relief efforts, click here to be redirected to the Red Cross website.