As National Suicide Prevention Week comes to a close, we want to highlight the important work our Service to the Armed Forces programs and volunteers are doing to reach out to service members, veterans and their families who may be struggling.
Gaenor Speed has spent the better part of the last 12 months assisting with Red Cross hurricane relief efforts. She is one of nearly 200 trained disaster workers the Red Cross has deployed to Hawaii as it prepares to respond to Hurricane Lane. Luckily, Gaenor is no stranger to hurricanes.
Gloria Mejia was looking forward to her summer in Honolulu, where her daughter lives. As the Greater Miami & The Keys Chapter’s Disaster Services Volunteer of the Year, she had been busy the last several months installing free smoke alarms at Sound the Alarm events and doing casework for people affected by Hurricane Irma in South Florida. Mother Nature, however, had different plans.
In September 2017, when Hurricane Irma was barreling toward the Florida peninsula as a Category 5 hurricane, state and local officials ordered the largest mass evacuation in U.S. history. The Red Cross was ready to provide supplies and teams of disaster volunteers to staff evacuation centers/shelters where residents who had no place to go could seek refuge, and to stay if they could not return home after the storm.