Meet Travis Clancy who is on his way to Texas to help prepare before the impending storms. Travis shared his thoughts on being a Red Cross volunteer.
“I joined Red Cross in August of 2019, I have always had a motivation to be a part of something bigger than myself. Red Cross has given me the opportunity to do just that.
When disaster strikes, its often unexpected and unpredictable, leaving devastation and suffering in its path. Whether it is a house fire down the street or a Major Storm of Cataclysmic proportions, Red Cross is there.
When I received my Volunteer interview call just days after applying online I was asked what I wanted to do with Red Cross. I was unsure, but when they explained the position of what I now know to be a DAT team Supervisor I knew that was my calling.
When I put my Vest on for the first time I felt a sense of pride and purpose, I knew that I was going to be that beacon of hope for someone whose biggest fear in that moment was uncertainty. Shortly after Joining Red Cross I learned of a major storm that had left much of the Mohawk Valley in Central NY under water, being as I grew up in Syracuse NY I thought “this is Home”. I had to go.
When I arrived it was a scene that I had only ever experienced on television or in movies, but I had to remind myself why I was there, that the shock that I was experiencing was only a fraction of what was now these peoples lives, and my purpose was to do whatever I could to make it that much easier for them. Red Cross is more than just Blood and Disaster services, it means a Hug for a single mom who is already struggling and is now homeless as a result of the storm, or a sincere word of encouragement for a man who just lost his Family farm that had been passed down from generation to generation.
Make no mistake about it, when you put that Red vest on people perceive you to be a super hero, and as glamorous as that sounds, I promise you that you will be so overwhelmed with feelings of Empathy and Grief that you wont even realize that what your doing is even making an impact. Red Cross quickly became a way of life for me, a top priority among Family and Career. I began telling my employer “I am an essential Red Cross volunteer, and it means a lot to me and I would appreciate it if when the time comes that I am needed, you would allow me to go”
Since the Mohawk Valley Flooding I have become in addition to DAT Team Supervisor, a part of the Preparedness team through the Home Fire Campaign, CPR and First Aid Certified, A member of the Shelter team as a Shelter Supervisor and have had the privilege to work along side my District Program Manager Cortney Shatraw in preparing Emergency Management for upcoming Disasters.
The sky is the limit when is comes to Red Cross but no matter what I am doing, I always know that I am Helping someone, whether it be in preparedness months before Disaster strikes or Boots on the ground in a National Deployment, sacrificing a small piece of myself to make a big impact in someone else’s life will Always be worth it for me.