Once a victim, now a volunteer

This article appeared in the Statesville Record & Landmark and was written by Donna Swicegood

Statesville resident Deb Lord remembers the feeling of losing her home to a disaster and the welcome sight of American Red Cross volunteers arriving to help.

That prompted Lord to become a Red Cross volunteer herself, and now she is in Pennsylvania for approximately two weeks to give flood victims that same feeling she experienced.

Lord left Charlotte on Tuesday as part of a disaster team headed to northeastern Pennsylvania to help with flood relief. Parts of that state experienced serious flooding last week after Tropical Storm Lee came through. One official called it the worst flooding in the Keystone State since 1972.

Lord will first go to Scranton, Pa., and receive her assignment at that point. “We will go into all the areas that were hit and determine who needs help and provide help,” she said.

She said she began volunteering for the Red Cross after experiencing a disaster in 1999.

Lord and her family lived in Oklahoma at the time and saw their home damaged by a tornado. She said the helping hand and the warmth of the Red Cross volunteers helped her recover.

“I remember what it was like to wake up and see what was left of my home,” she said.

The Red Cross volunteers, with a hot cup of coffee and a warm smile, she said, made the difference. “It means a whole lot,” she said.

She and her entire family now volunteer for the Red Cross.

“We made it a family thing,” she said.

Lord said she doesn’t know what the next two weeks will bring, but helping flood victims is not new for her. She has assisted flood victims in North Carolina and elsewhere, including a deployment to Ohio.

She said she hopes the people of northeastern Pennsylvania will get the same sense of warmth and caring she received during her own disaster.


One thought on “Once a victim, now a volunteer

  1. Good Days from Chronic Disease Fund

    Deb’s volunteer contributions are very inspiring and humbling! I work with Good Days from Chronic Disease Fund, an organization dedicated to helping chronic disease patients. We need volunteers just like Deb. Check out our website to find ways you can help. http://www.gooddaysfromcdf.org/

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