Volunteer’s extra step makes friends

Hugs in Joplin

Have you ever been out in public and had someone you don’t know approach you with thanks because you were wearing something that identified you as a Red Cross volunteer? This new friend could be the result of a Red Cross staffer or volunteer somewhere who was diligent in helping after a disaster.

EXAMPLE

Recently, an American Red Cross volunteer caseworker was doing a follow-up client contact in a distant county to a three-member family, who had been rendered temporarily homeless due to a fire that was classified as major. The volunteer learned that with some minor home repair; which the clients could not afford, the family could be back in its home. The caseworker made a couple suggestions about finding local resources which the clients stated they would try. Then the caseworker went up a line and asked about Red Cross procedure to help with minor home repairs.

While waiting for the answer the caseworker started collecting phone numbers to possible resources in the clients’ area. The caseworker was given the guidelines to follow. Then the caseworker called the clients and let them know that Red Cross could help with repairs up to a certain amount and what they needed to do to help their selves.

The caseworker then made calls that led to a partnership in the clients’ area. The work was done, the clients so very thankful and stated they plan to adjust their budget to include a monthly donation to Red Cross.

In short this case was opened, the clients lodged, fed, home repaired and case closed in less than two weeks at a cost of less than $800 to the Red Cross. The caseworker then contacted the contractor and partners thanking them for their part in helping Red Cross clients.

And you as a Red Cross volunteer now have at least three new friends.

-Robert Switzer, volunteer, Lebanon

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