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A non-profit organization always willing to lend a helping hand needs several of their own.
The Grant County Unit of the American Red Cross Cincinnati Area Chapter is looking for volunteers to help the community in disaster situations.
The Red Cross responds to disasters from fires and tornados to floods and ice storms 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year.
Volunteer duties include being on call to provide assistance to families impacted by disasters as well as setting up canteen for emergency responders.
The local unit, which helps 10 to 15 families a year on average, currently only has six volunteers.
“In a normal, everyday society, everybody is not available 24/7,” said Diana Morgan, leader of the Grant County Unit. “You just have to go through a list and see who’s available and when. The greater the number of people to go through, the more likely you are to get help.”
“If I could get two or three more, I’d be happy,” she said. “Ten is a good number to have to choose from.”
A volunteer orientation training session will be conducted from 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 13 at the Grant County Public LIbrary.
During the class, potential volunteers will complete an application, background check and picture ID.
Those 18 and older who are interested are asked to register by Oct. 9.
They will be required to bring two forms of identification, including one photo ID.
The two-hour process normally would take months to complete.
“This is saving people a lot of time,” Morgan said. “It saves people from having to go to Cincinnati.”
Most of the calls in Grant County are to help families whose homes have caught fire.
On average, the Red Cross gives a family about $1,000 in assistance, Morgan said.
“It’s surprising on some of the structure fires that we go on some people respond they didn’t know we come out to help,” she said. “When we respond to a fire we are representing the Red Cross as a family’s first 24 hours assistance. We give them some clothing and some money for food and if they need to be put up in a hotel.”
While volunteers are required to attend a few trainings and a monthly meeting, Morgan said there are no dues involved by participating.
Volunteers also can help as little as they can.
“We don’t expect them to make every call,” Morgan said. “If they can’t, we understand what no means.
Along with volunteers, the Grant Count Unit of the American Red Cross needs a home.
The organization has never had an office of its own.
“We’ve been provided a place right now where our supplies are kept, but it’s not a place where we can have our meetings,” Morgan said. “We would like to have a space where we can have a computer set up and a fax machine. We have all the stuff, we just don’t have the space.”
For more information or to register for the class, call Diana Morgan at 859-630-3460 or e-mail Kevin Quatman at QuatmanK@cincinnatiredcross.org.