Hurricane recovery efforts leave Red Cross needing more Colorado volunteers

The Red Cross is asking for help. This time it's not for hurricane victims, but for the organization itself. 9/17/17.

DENVER - The Red Cross is asking for help.

This time it's not for hurricane victims, but for the organization itself. The pull of volunteers to the disaster area has left a hole in the group's Mile High chapter.

We know that disaster can happen anytime and anywhere -- like where Hurricanes Harvey and Irma hit. However, we also know it can happen in the Colorado community, too, like this weekend when a brush fire broke out in Douglas County.

Not only did first responders show up on scene, so did Red Cross volunteers who just finished their work in the area on Sunday morning.

While 200 volunteers were deployed to help relief efforts in Texas and Florida, about 35 volunteers responded to four different emergencies, including the brush fire, in Colorado this weekend.

"We respond on average to three home fires every day," Nigel Holderby, one of the organization's communication directors, said.

Even though those 35 volunteers were able to handle the weekend's load, the Red Cross still needs more hands to work more efficiently.

"When you have more than 90 percent of your workforce that are volunteers, that number is great and the needs are greater," he said.

While recovery efforts in the areas affected by the hurricanes are important, so is taking care of the people at home.

"They know we are truly making a difference with individuals and within the community," Katie Fisk, the Red Cross disaster program manager, said.

Just because you volunteer to help doesn't mean you'll be sent to help with major disasters like hurricanes. There is a lot of local help that is needed including making calls, helping people online or serving a meal to first responders.

As part of the volunteer experience, the Red Cross trains each person to respond to any type of emergency. You can learn more about volunteering on the Red Cross website.

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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