Written by Vicki P. Jenks, American Red Cross Disaster Action Team Volunteer
Wild Rose, WI
Every 9 minutes in the United States, an American Red Cross Disaster Action Team springs into action. In the quad counties of Waushara, Green Lake, Marquette and Waupaca where I serve, those disasters are primarily residential fires. There is never a good time to be displaced by a house fire, but the situation seems more severe during the extreme cold and during the holiday season. As a member of your local American Red Cross D.A.T. team, it is an honor to help families touched by such tragic events. But I am only ONE PERSON on the team fully trained by the Red Cross. Our team consists of medical professionals, retired teachers, business leaders, social workers, and more. With that diverse life experience, knowledge, and compassion—we are truly a TEAM.
Fortunately, through the generosity of individuals and corporate leaders such as the Waupaca Foundry, our local Red Cross D.A.T. teams are even better prepared to serve our ‘clients’. Temporary shelter, food, clothing, bedding, linens, and personal hygiene items are among the primary items required by our clients. Our D.A.T. nurse facilitates the replacement of prescription medications lost in the disaster. Our regional office in Oshkosh continues to work with insurance companies and other non-profit agencies long after our D.A.T. has done its initial work.
Recently, the Waupaca Foundry became an official HERO for their local Red Cross with a generous gift that will be used for local disaster relief and the long-time Red Cross program, Service to the Armed Forces. This signature Red Cross service to United States military personnel-- active and retired-- has positively affected Waupaca County. Whether we’re distributing Holiday Mail for HEROES, performing music concerts, providing a hands-on ceramics program, or simply engaged in friendly conversations--the Red Cross is a vital partner at the Wisconsin Veterans’ Home in nearby King. Additionally, our Service to the Armed Forces’ volunteers relay emergency messages to service members all over the world, 24/7/365.
“Down the street, across the country, around the world—the Red Cross is there”, due to altruistic Americans such as the Waupaca Foundry.
If you are interested in volunteering at the Waupaca Red Cross office, 418 School Street, taking Nursing Assistant Training classes, serving on the local Disaster Action Team or SAF Team, please contact your Waupaca Red Cross office at 715-258-5055 or visit http://www.redcross.org.