Tuesday, July 7, 2015
Letter from East Tennessee Executive Director Michelle Hankes, July 2015
I had the opportunity at the end of June and early July to be deployed to Houston, TX, to help with the flood relief efforts of the American Red Cross. I got to experience first-hand the complexity of a very large disaster that touched millions of people across three states.
You can all be very proud of the efforts of 16 East Tennessee volunteers who took on the roles of caseworker, shelter manager and Emergency Response Vehicle driver, taking cases of water, meals and other needed items into areas where water was lapping at the edges of the roads.
Some of the clients at our shelters have been unable to go home for many weeks, and none are sure if they even have homes to go to. I am reminded of the courage and compassion of our volunteers each day. I am thankful for the generosity of donors from across the nation as they give in support of people they will never meet. I am humbled by the way community organizations and government groups work together to rebuild neighborhoods.
If you wonder, "Is the Red Cross making a difference?" I am here to say, without reserve, "Yes!!" I see it in the faces of the people we serve, and I see it in the faces of my fellow Red Cross volunteers.
Thank you for all YOU do for the East Tennessee Chapter! Thank you for making a difference!