Given the current flooding that is happening in Colorado, there are likely plenty of people in America who are thinking about volunteering to try to help out these suffering communities. A great way for those people to help out is to volunteer with the Red Cross. Brenda Brouillette, the Regional Emergency Services Director for the Red Cross of Central and Western Massachusetts, made her first connection with the Red Cross after September 11, 2001. After the tragedy that occurred on that day, Brenda felt helpless. She wanted to do soemthing but didn’t know how. Brenda decided the best way to stop from feeling helpless was to move to action and become a volunteer.
After heading to her local Red Cross chapter, Brenda learned that someone cannot immediately jump into action as a Red Cross volunteer. New volunteers need to go through a training course to learn the history of the Red Cross, and to become knowledgeable about the different services that the Red Cross provides. Brenda completed her training, and was amazed by all that the Red Cross does. She volunteered with the organization for nine months, helping with local emergencies such as house fires, and helping communities with emergency preparedness. She was then hired full time.
Brenda decided to start volunteering after the tragedy that took place on September 11, 2001. I asked Brenda what she would say to someone who wants to help the communities in Colorado. She said that like her, most people probably assume that they will immediately be sent out to help with huge disasters right away. The prospect of being deployed to assist with major emergencies such as the Colorado floods or September 11 can be a little bit intimidating. However, any new volunteers will go through the same training that Brenda did, and that every single new volunteer across the country will go through. If someone decides to volunteer, they will be assigned to help with their own community, with smaller emergencies such as house fires. September is National Preparedness Month, and local Red Cross chapters across the country can use the help of volunteers. In 2001, Brenda wanted to help after witnessing a tragedy. Today, anyone feeling the same way that Brenda did after 9/11 should locate their local Red Cross and see how they can help.