Ready to Serve: Aaron’s Story

With nearly a dozen volunteers surrounding her on a Saturday morning, Mass Care Supervisor Jamie Winterbottom ran down the day’s feeding assignments for the American Red Cross response to Mississippi River flooding along the Illinois/Iowa border.

As the crews listened to her instructions, one face stood out among the rest. The face was that of 20-year-old Aaron McPherson. McPherson, a new Red Cross volunteer who was taking part in his first disaster response deployment, was likely at least 15 years younger than everyone in the room.

McPherson exudes the enthusiasm of a young responder anxious to help. As a “Red Crosser” he is a Disaster Assistance Team responder and member of a mission response/emergency response vehicle team. 

Being a public servant is a trait that’s apparently part of his DNA. When not serving the Red Cross, McPherson serves his community as a Corrections Officer at the Washington County Jail. He serves his state and his country as a member of the Iowa Army National Guard.

When asked what drives him to volunteer and to serve, McPherson said, “I just want to help out. I want to help whenever or wherever I’m needed.”

Visit to join Aaron as a Red Cross volunteer.

Written by Illinois Region Communications Volunteer Brian DeLoche

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