Red Cross needs local volunteers

Published 1:10 am Friday, December 15, 2017

The American Red Cross has only four Covington County volunteers, and that’s for the entire county.

“My goal is to have at least 30 volunteers,” Disaster Specialist Joseph Hilliard said.

“With that we can have a decent team, but we really should try to have more than that.”

Specifically, there’s a need for volunteers within two fields: the Disaster Action Team and the Mass Care Team.

“The main reason we’re calling on volunteers for the county is because people within the community know their areas better,” Hilliard said. “They know what their communities need.”

Volunteers are needed before times of disasters, Hilliard said.

“If we don’t have trained people before the disaster, they can’t help us,” he said.

“There have been so many people come to us when disaster strikes, asking to help. But we can’t have them help us without proper training.”

The training sessions are available online or live sessions, free of cost.

“We want to build a proper response element that could prepare Covington County for any disaster,” Hilliard said.

“We really need more volunteers.”

In the event of a disaster, shelters should be prepared to be opened, Hilliard said.

“We need people who care about their community and who have a willingness to volunteer,” Hilliard said.

“What I’ve learned from the American Red Cross is that we’re always dependent on people. We rely on the people of our community to come together and help us through hard times, and we need to be prepared for those times before they happen.”

There are also deployment opportunities when volunteering with the American Red Cross.

“We’ve sent volunteers to Puerto Rico when the hurricane hit, and with the fires in California, there’s an opportunity to go and help there as well.”

To volunteer with the American Red Cross go to:, or call 251-943-3844.