Mena Tornadoes

Hello Readers –

We just wanted to give you a little information about how far the efforts of the American Red Cross Disaster Servies team stretches.

Two weeks ago, Sam had the opportunity to particiapte in the tornado recovery efforts in Mena, Arkansas. He would like to spend some time to discuss his experience:

When I arrived in the small town near the Oklahoma border I didn’t know what to expect. It was my first national deployment, so all the information I had acquired was from stories told by my co-workers and volunteers. I was so excited to be able to have a deployment experience of my own and to make a difference in a new community.

It didn’t take long for me to get into the action. The same day I flew into Little Rock and made the drive to Mena I was entering disaster data into the computers at our headquarters. Volunteers from around Arkansas had already met with clients before I had arrived and someone was needed to enter all the data. It wasn’t the most thrilling work, but due to my training in Chicago I knew its importance.

The most rewarding part of my 6 day deployment was the opportunity to participate in the outreach efforts. This entailed driving through the community and speaking with people about how the Red Cross would be able to assist them. We also explained where we could be found and how long we would be there. Outreach allowed me to really feel like I was connecting and helping people on a personal level.

It was amazing to see, amidst all the destruction from the tornadoes, the incredibly supportive attitue of the entire Mena community. I wish everyone the best of luck and I was happy to do my part in helping with your recovery.

We encourage you to get involved with your local Red Cross chapter so you too can learn how to help in a national disaster.

– Lily and Sam

One response

  1. Sam,Thanks so much for your help in Mena. It was great to meet you and work with you.I was in Mena for the Long Term Recovery meeting today. FEMA has settled in over there and hopefully folks will be getting into their system quickly. There is still so much work to be done for that community. And you’re right! They are an awesome group of people. Their way of pulling together and helping each other should be a model for other communities.Good luck to you and may our next meeting not be a ‘disaster.’Blessings, JoAnn

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