The Red Cross, a United Way-supported agency, is currently seeking volunteers for its Disaster Service Program.
The program helps disaster victims resume a normal life. Disasters include earthquakes, house fires, chemical spills and floods.Corry Tanner, executive director of the Red Cross chapter in Utah County, said that the Volunteer Disaster Action Team responds to the needs of disaster victims.
The Red Cross trains volunteers to handle emergency situations, said Tanner. In their first assignment, volunteers may put family members in contact with each other, distribute vouchers so families can replace lost clothing, help cook dinner for displaced families or read books to children at a temporary shelter.
As volunteers gain experience, they can help victims meet their long-term needs by replacing lost personal or household items. Volunteers can also give accurate information to reporters and can make damage assesments that will help Red Cross and government agencies offer assistance.
"There is a certain satisfaction which comes from helping others that can not be achieved any other way," said Chloe Langston, Red Cross health and safety director.
The Disaster Service Program "is a gift for the American People from the American people," Langston said.
Individuals who want to volunteer can contact the United Way Volunteer Center at 374-8108.Volunteers must be 16 years old or older.
Other volunteer opportunities in the community include the following:
- The food bank in American Fork needs volunteers to help distribute food and greet clients on Thursdays from 2 to 4 p.m. Volunteers may work every week or every other week.
- Highland Elementary in American Fork and Scera Park Elementary in Orem need volunteers to help children with school subjects in the resource rooms. The volunteer must commit to come once a week on a regular basis.
- Utah Girl Scout Council is looking for troop leaders to work with troops of local girls. Volunteers spend three to four hours each week with the girls.
For more information about these opportunities contact the United Way Volunteer Center at 374-8108.