The American Red Cross prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.
Memphis, Tennessee, June 6, 2017. American Red Cross workers Deborah Underwood (left) and Dianne Garner (right) had a demanding day yesterday. Due to some misinformation circulating on social media, a large influx of phone calls and visitors came to the Mid-South Red Cross. Both Deborah and Dianne work at the front desk and had the delicate task of informing those coming into the office that some of the information on Facebook and Twitter was incorrect.
Deborah and Dianne inquired if the persons home had been damaged by the storm, as the Red Cross is providing financial assistance for people whose homes suffered major damage or was destroyed, and if they needed to stay at the Red Cross shelter. They also provided handouts with addresses of local food banks and the LINC 2-1-1 system (dial 211) where information is available about support organizations in the Memphis area.
By the end of the day, Deborah and Dianne had dealt with approximately 100 people. “Most of the people were understanding when we explained,” said Deborah,“ and were pleased to get the referral information we provided.”
Deborah and Dianne are in a training program at the Mid-South Red Cross as part of our local Meritan’s Senior Community Service Employment Program, which is designed for seniors wishing to reenter the workforce to “combine community service and a paycheck until they find their next job,” according to the Meritan web page (www.meritan.org). They share the position of front desk receptionist, each working approximately 20 hours per week, and both have had prior careers, Deborah with the City of Memphis Library system and Dianne with a local legal service.
Deborah and Dianne both shared their pleasure with working for the Red Cross. “I’d like to find a permanent part-time job and then come back and do this as a volunteer,” said Dianne.
Photo and Story Credit: Bob Wallace for the American Red Cross