Volunteer gets field promotion

Amy Durand, who is currently in the Gulf region deployed with the American Red Cross to help the area recover from Hurrican Isaac, has just been promoted.

Volunteers within the American Red Cross train in different specialties. Some become leaders of Disaster Action Teams we hope never come to your neighborhood — those are teams who show up at fires and other incidents in our region. Some run shelters, some figure out how to get 200 cots to show up at that same shelter.

Durand has been an “activator” for seven years. In her slippers, from home and in the middle of the night, she has pushed through paperwork so those affected by disaster can quickly get funds for clothes, food, shoes, bedding…whatever they need to get themselves settled while working on their recovery.

Durand was just named “casework supervisor,” which means she’s answering questions for those filling out forms, figuring out what people need to help get their lives back together, and making sure everything is accounted for so we know exactly where your donations are going. She’s currently working at a shelter in New Orleans, where 59 were guests last night.

“The Southern Baptists here are amazing,” Durand said of our partners in the region. She’s slept in Baptist buildings since she arrived in the South, sometimes transfering from one shelter to another during the day as her skills are needed. In the staff shelter, as more help arrives to help move residents back to their homes, she’s noting the room is getting a little more crowded. They’re bringing in bunk beds to make sure they maximize the space.

“They’re figuring out how to stack us,” she joked.

There are 26 volunteers from our region who have deployed to help those who were in the path of the hurricane. The American Red Cross invests in these volunteers who agree to give up two weeks of their lives because, like Amy, they come back to Massachusetts with a wealth of experience in the face of disaster. And it is with volunteers like Amy Durand that this region is stronger, able to face disaster should it hit our communities.

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