To the Editor:
It has been a tumultuous 2020, with a global pandemic, an economic downturn, demonstrations for social
justice, and a politically divided country during a presidential election year. But despite the
challenges, there is hope.
Everyday heroes like medical workers, first responders, and other essential employees are helping us
through these trying times. In fact, there is an organization full of heroes working quietly behind the
scenes, whose mission is to prevent and alleviate human suffering. They are the heroes of American Red
The Red Cross provides support to victims of disasters, both large and small. They depend on volunteers
to help people after home fires, hurricanes, and other emergencies, and right now they are short-handed,
especially in the area of volunteer disaster responders.
Planning for a natural disaster like a wildfire or a flood that may or may not occur is a challenge
anytime, but especially in the COVID-19 environment. Before the end of July, there were nine named
storms in the Atlantic; normally, there are only two before the month of August. Forecasters tell us to
expect more and stronger storms as this hurricane season progresses.
In the event of a large natural disaster with a need to open shelters, there will be a need for people to
volunteer in those shelters, to help care for the needs of people who are forced to flee their homes.
The Red Cross is taking very seriously the threat posed by COVID-19, and has implemented several
safeguards to comply with CDC guidelines to protect the health and safety of its volunteers and the
people who need help.
If you have the time and ability to volunteer for the Red Cross, visit www.redcross.org/volunteertoday.
The need is great, and the reward greater.
Charles F. Heid, American Red Cross of NW Ohio Board Chair, Maumee