Shelly Oliver started volunteering for the American Red Cross in 2018, shortly before Hurricane Michael made landfall in the U.S. She has traveled to Florida, Oregon, Louisiana and elsewhere to provide disaster relief after hurricanes, wildfires and other disaster scenes.
Shelly lives in Macon County, near Decatur and responds locally to home fires and other incidents, providing immediate assistance to people who have been impacted by disasters. She also helps install smoke alarms as part of our Sound the Alarm program.
“I like the disaster response work, being on scene with the clients. You take these people with you. I call to check up on them and they will call me sometimes,” she said.
Despite the challenges presented during the COVID pandemic, Shelly still has been able to assist in a virtual setting, and she is glad to have had to have been able to serve during this time.
“I love the virtual intake process because I am still able to meet with the clients, even though it has not been in person during the pandemic,” she said. “When we do intake over the phone, we’re able to connect a little deeper because we have more opportunities to talk after the initial response.”
Shelly has been a great asset to the Illinois region and beyond. Her positive attitude and strong work ethic have helped people in numerous situations during her time as a volunteer. For Shelly, it is something she enjoys doing.
“I love everything about Red Cross. I wish I had known what the Red Cross did a long time ago, I would have gotten involved long before I did. Four years ago, I had no idea all they did; it just amazes me.”
If you would like to sign up as a Red Cross volunteer, please click here.
In March, the American Red Cross of Illinois is honoring the people who make its mission possible every day during its annual Red Cross Month celebration – a national tradition started nearly 80 years ago when President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued the first national Red Cross Month proclamation recognizing those who give back through the American Red Cross. Each U.S. president has issued a proclamation ever since. Join Red Cross Month by visiting redcross.org to make a financial donation, sign up to give blood, become a volunteer or take a class in lifesaving skills, such as first aid and CPR.
Written by Illinois Region Communications Manager Brian Williamsen