By Heath Wakelee, American Red Cross
What do you want to do with your free time? You know – that vacation time you have saved up or a few free hours each week? How about when you retire, what about all that hard-earned down-time?
Gary Chan and Scott Allen – two northern California residents at different points in their personal and professional lives – have asked themselves that same thing. They both found the same answer: by signing up as volunteers with the American Red Cross.
Chan, of Sacramento and an employee in the Emergency Department at Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center, is using his vacation time to volunteer. Scott Allen, of Woodland, made the move to the Red Cross after a long career in the fire department and law enforcement.
Both men volunteered to assist evacuees from the North Complex fires that as of Sept. 16 had destroyed over 265,000 acres and resulted in the evacuation of thousands of people.
Their assignments became even more critical due to COVID-19 and the need to adhere to guidance from the CDC and local public health authorities. The Red Cross discontinued using large shelters and began sheltering fire evacuees in motels. Meals are prepared by community partners and local restaurants, and then arranged in individual boxes for delivery to approximately 1,500 rooms across the Region.
Both men are working on the meal delivery process, with Scott contacting evacuees to ensure that food deliveries are being completed as needed, and Gary is doing the actual delivery of boxed meals to each evacuee’s room. They are pleased to be able to help people in their time of great need. Their dedication and commitment are much appreciated.
If you have the time, you can make a significant impact as a Red Cross volunteer. There are jobs for everyone, regardless of your background, skills or how much time you have to give. Review our most urgently needed volunteer positions at www.redcross.org/volunteertoday