Through the Heart of a Red Crosser: The Other Volunteers

Steve Wise is a volunteer with the American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois who recently deployed to Florida for Hurricane Michael. He had only recently returned home after deploying to North Carolina for Hurricane Florence. Steve is now sharing some of his experiences.

Hurricane Michael was a storm that many of us will remember…possibly for our lifetimes.  For this writer – never in my life have I seen so much damage – that will most certainly take many years if not generations to recover from.

But aside from the damage that my eyes witnessed – I will remember the many people that came to help those in need – and who shared their hearts with those so needing.

It was common to meet people that drove hours just to lend a hand.  They had no connection to those impacted – but just wanted to be there for them and to help them in any way that they could.

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It was common to meet people who had full-time jobs not related to disaster relief – that either took vacation or a personal leave from their workplace – so that they could use their skills in any way that was needed.  It was common to see people with their own individual challenges – who put them aside and used their skills to identify ways that made those impacted feel comfortable and able in their shelter home.

So many people in the Florida panhandle were so negatively impacted by this storm.  Whether it be the loss of their home, their workplace, or other personal possessions – they now must find ways to recover from.  And by their side were and will be the hearts of first responders and volunteers – that stopped their lives and answered their call.

For what I will remember the most from Michael – are the hearts that came and were shared with those so needing.

If you’d like to help the people affected by disasters, you can make a donation at

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