Local American Red Cross Chapter welcoming volunteers for Disaster Relief Program


HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – We’re lucky in the Tennessee Valley because we are not in Hurricane Matthew’s destructive path.  But that means we have an opportunity to help those who will hurt in the aftermath. That’s why the Madison County Chapter of the American Red Cross is encouraging volunteers to join the several others deployed to help with the hurricane.

Tom Braunshausen is a volunteer who just returned from one natural disaster as new volunteers head to the next.

“I was in Louisiana at the Baton Rouge area,” Braunshausen explained.

Some disaster relief teams are already in Tallahassee preparing for Hurricane Matthew. They will administer the same hope as Braunshausen did.

“Mostly, I fed out of the back of a truck and I saw a lot of devastation,” Braunshausen said.

He added that helping with the heartache is worth your while.

“It’s rewarding when you feed somebody and they say, ‘This is the best meal that I’ve had in a week.’

But they do more than nourish. They also shield people from the elements.

“Initially we go in and set up a shelter, which is probably a gymnasium or a church,” Braunshausen said.

Disaster Program Specialist Linda Johnson said anyone can help with the hurricane response.

“We just need to know that they are willing and committed to the training that we have, and they’re committed to go out and help others,” Johnson said.

Johnson said in order to apply, just visit their website, rwww.redcross.org/local/alabama/volunteer. The Red Cross will do a background check then do initial training.

“We are always looking for volunteers to sign up for our local disasters and for those that go nationally,” Johnson said.