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Red Cross in South Fulton needs volunteers
by Nneka Okona
January 22, 2013 10:57 AM | 1637 views | 1 1 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Katherine Frye <br>
From left, South Fulton Red Cross Volunteers, Heidi Berger and James Greason Jr. with the Disaster Services Response Vehicle.
Staff / Katherine Frye
From left, South Fulton Red Cross Volunteers, Heidi Berger and James Greason Jr. with the Disaster Services Response Vehicle.
The time is 4 a.m. and Heidi Berger, a Red Cross Disaster Action team member, has just awakened from a phone call.

Her task? To respond, along with her fellow disaster action team members, to a woman whose single-family home has just burned down.

Upon arriving to the scene, it is discovered that the woman has two young children.

At this point, the fire department has left and Berger, and the rest of her team, begins taking an assessment.

The assessment involves answering questions such as what the family needs, whether it is shelter, food or medical care.

“They did not have a place to stay that night,” Berger said. “They needed shelter and medical attention. They also didn’t have any clothing or food.”

To help the woman and her family transition from this tragedy, they are issued a Red Cross card that acts as a debit card. Depending on the results from the assessment, a pre-determined amount of funding is allotted for food, clothing and shelter — which is usually a few nights stay at a local hotel.

Before the disaster action team officially leaves the scene, they give the woman and her two children a ready pack, which has small items such as toiletries and small toys for the children.

Berger has participated in several of instances like these since she became a part of the team last summer.

Through each of her experiences since last July, Berger has felt the impact of her volunteering.

“We all need help at one point or another,” she said. “If you have nobody else to turn to, the Red Cross is there for you. How great is it that there is someone out there to help?”

The Red Cross affiliate in South Fulton needs more people like Berger, those who will wake, often in the middle of the night, to help those in need.

In order to be a part of the disaster action team, a short application process is required, along with training provided free of charge.

Berger said, however, that there is one other crucial requirement in order to be an effective volunteer in this capacity.

“You need a giving heart,” she said. “[And] some free time and the ability to work with people in that setting, as well. Just enter it. There’s no right time.”


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