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Red Cross needs volunteers

By Sonny Long
Nov. 26, 2011 at 5:26 a.m.


ANOTHER VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY

Volunteers are needed as advocates for nursing home residents.

Ombudsmen visit nursing homes to promote quality care and to protect residents' rights. Free initial and ongoing training is provided and no experience is required.

Volunteers are needed in Calhoun, DeWitt, Goliad, Gonzales, Jackson, Lavaca and Victoria counties.

Contact Christina Guajardo, Elder Rights coordinator at the Golden Crescent Regional Planning Commission Area Agency on Aging at 361-578-1587 or 1-800-574-9745. She can also be reached by email at christinag@gcrpc.org.

The Red Cross needs more volunteers and it needs them now.

Whenever disaster strikes, members of the Red Cross are not far behind the first responders.

Since the start of its fiscal year on July 1, the Crossroads Chapter of the American Red Cross has responded to 41 house fires and assisted victims of 38, said Linda May, emergency services specialist.

"And it hasn't even gotten cold yet," May said, referring to the likelihood of more house fires once home heating devices are put into play when colder weather arrives.

The Crossroads Chapter, with headquarters in Victoria, serves six counties - Victoria, Calhoun, DeWitt, Goliad, Jackson and Lavaca.

Volunteers from the local chapter also traveled to Bastrop to assist with relief efforts for victims of September's wildfires.

"Our biggest need at the present time is Disaster Action Team volunteers," May said.

These volunteers receive a free training class that lasts about 2 1/2 hours and respond to house fires and other disasters to assist victims with their emergency needs. They also offer rehab to the firemen and other emergency personnel on scene, handing out water and food as needed, said May.

Team volunteers are also trained on how to do damage assessment, learn to drive the emergency response vehicle and many other training opportunities, added May.

"In the event we open up a shelter for an evacuation or for cooling or warming, volunteers help with registration and other needs. They can be on call daily or weekly," she said.

Volunteers are also needed in other areas, said May, especially with general office help such as answering phones, filing and general computer use.

To learn how to become a Red Cross volunteer call 361-573-2671 or go by the office at 2805 N. Navarro St., Suite 500.

More information can also be found at www.crossroads-redcross.org.

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