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Be there for American Red Cross on Kauai

The American Red Cross on Kauai needs you.

Yes, you.

We’ll get right to the point. The nonprofit organization here led by Padraic Gallagher, director of disaster services for Kauai, could use more volunteers. That’s it. So simple, but so vital. Volunteers are wanted for this group that responds in time of trouble.

Floods, fires, you name it, they’ll be there to stand alongside you, to help you up and help you stand strong.

When the floods devastated areas of Kauai last year, the Red Cross was there.

When a home is damaged in a fire, Red Cross is there. When a hurricane strikes, Red Cross is there. Their role is priceless.

Here’s the deal. The American Red Cross on Kauai has about 75 volunteers on the books, but of those, about 30 are really active. Ideally, it could use at least 100 to 120 volunteers to meet the needs of the island during a disaster. During a big disaster, if it doesn’t have enough volunteers, it has to put out a call nationally to get people from the mainland to help out, and that could take days and costs money.

There are no stringent qualifications to be a volunteer. You must be at least 18 years old, be willing to help out and flexible in understanding that things change quickly during a disaster.

The Red Cross will train all volunteers in disaster relief and it will also give volunteers opportunities to help out with disasters across the nation. For instance, the call just went out to help with flooding and tornadoes in the lower Midwest.

Now, before you dismiss this call for volunteers and say you can’t, you don’t have time, you have too many other demands that must be met, let someone else do it, know that the rewards are many and your efforts will be much appreciated.

You would be helping your neighbor and those in need. You would also have peace of mind knowing that you have knowledge and experience to ride out any disaster. Working as disaster services volunteer, you see the immediate impact of your work by giving people shelter and food when they need it most, or helping with relief supplies after a storm, or even teaching people to better prepare themselves and their family before a storm hits.

OK, so how would you go about letting Red Cross know you want to volunteer?

There are a few ways.

One chance is this Saturday. Red Cross on Kauai will be holding a volunteer recruitment as part of the Haena to Hanelei community event at the Waipa Foundation from 1 to 4 p.m. People can stop by the Red Cross tent and get information about how to volunteer and talk with disaster services volunteers. It will also have information about disaster preparedness and how to prepare for the upcoming hurricane season, which is about to be upon us and is looking like it’s going to be an active one.

Red Cross will also be at the Mayor-a-thon on June 22 at Kapaa Beach Park.

Or, if you like, contact the Red Cross on Kauai at 245-4919 or email, padraic.gallagher@redcross.org

The American Red Cross is there for you. Let’s be there for the American Red Cross.

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