The Heart of a Volunteer
During the ice storm which occurred Thursday, March 5, 2015, Ed England, one of our volunteers from Dickson County, was taking calls as our Government Liaison. One of these calls was for assistance for an elderly home-bound individual. He was given an overview from EMA concerning her needs and circumstances. The closest family lived two hours away under ideal travel conditions, but all roads were treacherous to impassible. The home caregiver was unable to make it to her shift, and the caregiver from the previous shift was required to leave under the Provider's time-on-duty guidelines. We were asked if there was anything the ARC could do to help. We had no shelters, ARC or independent, open in the area. The EMA stated they would provide transportation for this lady if we found a place for her, so Ed began reaching out to his resources in the area.
He found a partner that was willing to extend a hand to help with the situation. They agreed to contact the facility the patient was familiar with to see if we could place her there temporarily until the roads were clear enough for the caregivers to travel. Luckily the call paid off and she was approved to be brought there for the weekend. In addition, they agreed to pay all costs of the patient's stay, even though ARC could have paid for it under our Disaster guidelines. The patient was transported by EMS to the facility and we were able to play a part in extending our mission through the hands and hearts of other partnerships.
When Ed spoke to the family he learned they had been trying to get this patient into assisted living for several months without success. They had trouble getting her approved and qualified. During her stay, the patient's insurance company was contacted and they agreed to pay for all expenses. The facility was allowed to perform an evaluation. It showed that the patient not only qualified for assisted living, but it was now a necessity. The patient's insurance in return agreed to pay for an extended stay until a facility could be secured.
Ed received a phone call from a very grateful family. Through the efforts of the Red Cross and the partners that played a role in helping, she was safe and was now going to be enrolled full time into an assisted living facility. This small act of kindness accelerated the process to get her evaluated quickly. The ARC and its partners did in a few days what her family had been trying to do for months.
Once again it shows how valuable our community partners and volunteers are to this organization. We not only continue our mission helping those affected by disasters, but we go a step further by finding and building partnerships that will extend our mission. I am so proud of Ed, he didn’t stop until he knew she had been taken care of…now that shows the heart of a true volunteer!